Man accused of starting a Denver house fire that killed five members of a Senegalese family plans to file suit

DENVER (AP) — A man accused of setting a house fire that killed five members of a Senegalese family in 2020 in misguided revenge was scheduled to appear in court Friday to enter a plea.

Kevin Bui, 20, was 16 at the time of the fire but was charged as an adult with first-degree murder, attempted murder, arson and burglary. He was portrayed by the prosecution as the leader of a group of three friends who set the fire in the middle of the night on August 5, 2020 because he believed that people who had recently robbed him lived in the house after mistakenly stealing his The iPhone was tracked there using the app.

He is the last of the three to die in the fire that killed Djibril Diol (29) and Adja Diol (23), as well as their 22-month-old daughter Khadija Diol and her relative Hassan Diol (25) and their 6-year-old child. has entered a plea. Month-old daughter Hawa Baye. Three other people escaped by jumping from the second floor of the house.

Last year, Dillon Siebert, who was 14 at the time of the fire, was sentenced to three years in juvenile detention and seven years in a state prison program for young inmates. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder under a deal that prosecutors and defense said balanced his lesser role in planning the fire, his remorse and interest in rehabilitation with the horror of the crime.

In March, 19-year-old Gavin Seymour was sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.

Seymour’s plea came after a failed attempt to dismiss the Internet search history evidence that led to her arrest.

The investigation into the cause of the fire dragged on for months without yielding any clues. Surveillance video showed three suspects wearing full face masks and dark hoodies. Fears that the fire was a hate crime prompted many Senegalese immigrants to install security cameras in their homes to prevent them, too, from being targeted.

Without further action, police eventually obtained a search warrant and asked Google which IP addresses had searched the home’s address within 15 days of the fire. Five of the IP addresses found were based in Colorado, and police obtained the names of those individuals through another search warrant. After investigating these individuals, police eventually identified Bui, Seymour and Siebert as suspects. They were arrested about five months after the fire.

In October, the Colorado Supreme Court upheld searches of Google users’ keyword histories, an approach that critics have called a digital addiction that threatens to undermine people’s privacy and their constitutional protections from unreasonable searches and seizures.

However, the court cautioned against making a “general statement” on the constitutionality of such arrest warrants, emphasizing that it was ruling only on the facts of this case.