Colo. Man Pleads Guilty to 2020 House Fire That Killed Family of 5, Including 2 Children

As a teen, Kevin Bui targeted an innocent family after wrongfully accusing them of theft

Thomas Peipert/AP/Shutterstock Denver house fire
Thomas Peipert/AP/Shutterstock Denver house fire

A Colorado man involved in the August 2020 house fire that killed a Senegalese family of five, including two children, has pleaded guilty.

Per the Associated Press, 20-year-old Kevin Bui pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, on Friday, May 17. He was the last of three individuals responsible for the crime to face charges. All were teenagers at the time of the incident.

<p>Denver Police Department</p> Djibril Diol and his family killed in Denver fire

Denver Police Department

Djibril Diol and his family killed in Denver fire

According to the AP, CBS News Colorado and The Denver Post, Bui told investigators that he targeted the home after someone stole his iPhone in City Park.

Using an app to find his stolen device, Bui wrongly tracked it to the Truckee Street address. The family who was killed had no ties to the phone.

Related: Colo. Teen Who Admitted Denver Arson that Killed 5 — Including 2 Children — Sentenced 40 Years in Prison

Djibril Diol, 29, and Adja Diol, 23 and their 22-month-old daughter, Khadija Diol were killed in the blaze. Djibril's sister, Hassan Diol, 25, and her 6-month-old daughter Hawa Beye also died in the fire.

Three others escaped the fire by jumping out of windows, suffering broken bones in the process.

Denver Fire Dept/ Twitter Denver house fire
Denver Fire Dept/ Twitter Denver house fire

“Djiby, a young man with a promising future in Civil Engineering, has left behind a community that he so deeply loved and cared for,” a GoFundMe said at the time.

Bui originally faced 60 counts, but they were dismissed as part of a plea deal, per CBS News Colorado.

His maximum proposed sentence is up to 60 years in prison — 30 years for each count. The maximum penalty for each count is 48 years and a $1 million fine.

The 20-year-old was considered the ringleader of the crime, the AP reports.

Bui’s accomplices were Dillon Siebert, who was 14 at the time of the fire, and Gavin Seymour, now 19.

Denver police department Colorado arson suspects
Denver police department Colorado arson suspects

After the fire, a photo of the trio was released by the Denver Police Department. Authorities said the fire appeared to be set on purpose by three people wearing dark hoodies and face masks, who took off in a dark-colored four-door sedan, CBS News Colorado reported at the time.

Though the case stalled for months due to a lack of leads, per The Denver Post, authorities were eventually able to tie the teens to the killings using a controversial search warrant that required Google to turn over any users who searched for the victims' address within 15 days before the fire.

Related: Police Release Photo of 3 Masked Suspects Who Authorities Believe Set Fire to Home Killing Family

Police claimed Bui Googled the Senegalese family’s residence 13 times two weeks before the fire, according to the warrant. He’d also talked about his stolen phone on Snapchat.

Bui’s parents were present for the hearing on Friday and listened with the help of a Vietnamese interpreter, The Denver Post reports. He wore a jail uniform and handcuffs.

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His sentencing is set for July 2.

Seymour was sentenced to 40 years in prison after entering a guilty plea to one count of second-degree murder in March.

Siebert pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year and was sentenced to three years in a juvenile facility, followed by seven in an adult detention program, according to the AP.

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