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Two 16-year-old boys will face murder charges in adult court in connection to a fire set at a family home in Green Valley Ranch that killed five people, including an infant and a toddler.
Prosecutors on Monday filed charges against Kevin Bui and Gavin Seymour, both 16, Denver District Court records show. It’s unclear whether a third teenage suspect, who is 15, has been charged.
Five family members — 29-year-old Djibril Diol, 23-year-old Adja Diol, their 2-year-old daughter Khadija, 25-year-old Hassan Diol and her 6-month-old daughter, Hawa Baye — died in the Aug. 5 fire in the 5300 block of North Truckee Street. Three others living in the house were injured in the fire.
Bui faces 60 charges in connection to the killings, court records show, though details about the incident remain unclear. His charges include first-degree murder after deliberation, attempted murder, assault, burglary, arson and several sentencing enhancement charges. Seymour faces a single count of first-degree murder, the records show.
If the cases against Bui and Seymour continue in adult court, they face harsher potential sentences than if the cases were filed in juvenile court. Juveniles convicted on murder charges — even if charged as adults — cannot be sentenced to death or life without parole. Instead, a juvenile convicted of murder faces a maximum penalty of 40 years imprisonment with the possibility of parole.
Prosecutors can immediately file charges in adult court against juvenile suspects who are at least 16 years old, though suspects can argue at a later court hearing that their case should be sent back to juvenile court. For suspects younger than 16 — like the 15-year-old arrested in connection to the arson homicides — a judge must first approve the filing of the case in adult court after a hearing.
Police arrested the three teens on Wednesday in connection to the killings, though they did not identify them. Tanya Bui, a 23-year-old woman who is related to Kevin Bui, was arrested two days later on federal gun and drug charges. Her arrest affidavit states that investigators tied her to one of the suspects in the arson, identified as “KB” in the affidavit, through phone records.
Tanya Bui worked with “KB” to sell drugs, according to her arrest affidavit, which does not provide further details about the arson deaths.