Judge decides 2 teens accused of starting deadly fire that killed Senegalese family will go to trial

kevin bui and gavin seymour_green valley ranch fire.jpg
Posted at 5:15 PM, Nov 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 19:17:22-05

DENVER — Gavin Seymour and Kevin Bui, two teens charged in connection with a deadly fire that killed a Senegalese family in Green Valley Ranch, will go to trial after the judge determined there was enough evidence in a preliminary hearing Friday.

The two teens are accused of killing five people — Djibril and Adja Diol, their 2-year-old daughter Khadija, Hassan Diol and her infant daughter, Hawa Baye — in the early morning hours of Aug. 5, 2020. The hearing came nearly a year-and-a-half since the tragic deaths.

During the preliminary hearing, the lead detective said Bui admitted to planning and executing the fire.

"It is just a horrific case. We are really sad and devastated that it happened to this family. We want to make sure that justice is served in this case," said Denver District Attorney Beth McCann outside of court.

The prosecution's first witness was the lead investigator in the case. Hawa Baye’s grief-stricken father left the courtroom in tears as the prosecution detailed the remains of her body, saying the little girl was found underneath her mother’s arm.

For five months, the case went unsolved. In court Friday, the lead investigator said a Google search may have gotten the arson's caught.

"The detectives do search words for cell phones and other information from Google. In this case, the detective testified about looking at who had searched this particular address and I can get that information through Google with a legitimate search warrant," McCann explained.

Investigators says three boys, including Kevin Bui and Gavin Seymour, Google searched the house on Truckee street multiple times in late July, a few weeks before the fire was started. The masks being worn in surveillance videos may have also been their undoing. Investigators determined Bui and another minor purchased the masks at a Party City prior to the fire.

Bui told investigators he was robbed weeks earlier while trying to buy a gun in City Park. When he pinged the stolen iPhone, the Truckee St address popped up and that's why boys went there to retaliate. No evidence was presented showing the Diol family had anything to do with Bui being robbed.

Seymour later told investigators “there was not a lot of planning. We just winged it.”

The teens must now await the judge's decision if the case moves forward and if they will be tried as adults.