DENVER — The youngest suspect charged in a 2020 arson that killed five members of a Senegalese family has been sentenced after pleading guilty in the case in December.
The suspect, Dillon Siebert, was 14 years old at the time of the fire that killed members of the Diol family. He is now 17 years old.
Court records show Siebert pleaded guilty in December to second-degree murder and use of a weapon during a violent crime, which is a sentence enhancer.
Siebert was sentenced as an adult Wednesday morning to seven years in Youth Offender Services. Wednesday afternoon, he was sentenced in juvenile court to serve three years in the Division of Youth Services. He will serve the time in the Youth Offender Services after his juvenile sentence is completed.
Siebert also faces a suspended sentence of 26 years in Youth Offender Services, which he would only have to serve if he violated the terms of his seven-year sentence.
Amadou Beye lost his wife and infant daughter in the fire. In court on Wednesday, he described Siebert as "a monster and the devil" and said he hoped Siebert would die in prison.
"I wish that he will die soon and I wish that he will die hard and he will go straight to hell, and that's why I wish for all of them," Beye said. "We can't be the same anymore. We can't be normal anymore. They destroyed our lives."
At sentencing, Siebert apologized for what he had done. He called his actions "unacceptable, sinful and wrong." He asked the Diol family for forgiveness and said he was ashamed of himself.
Investigators believe the three teen suspects targeted the wrong house trying to get revenge for a stolen phone and killed the family, including kids, for no reason.
"I trusted the system, and I just feel like this system doesn’t value certain people’s lives," Ousman Ba, a spokesperson for the family, said. "They were peacefully sleeping in their home. No connection to anything and they were burned alive. This is what we get out of it. This is what we call justice in this country."
Wednesday brings the first jail sentence for anyone involved. Still, the day may not bring healing. Ba said they were hoping for far more.
"We wanted them to go through the process. Go to a jury and let the state decide with all of the evidence that came out of it. But this is what it came to," Ba said. "It’s been almost three years now since the tragedy happened. We still haven’t found peace or closure to this case."
Background on the case
- The deadly fire occurred in the early morning of Aug. 5, 2020, in the 5300 block of Truckee Street in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood in northeast Denver.
- Killed in the fire were: Djibril Diol, 29; Djibril's wife, Adja, 23; the couple's 2-year-old daughter Khadija; Djibril's sister, Hassan, 25, and Hassan's 6-month-old daughter, Hawa Beye.
The case was cold for months until Denver police announced the arrests of three teens in January 2021. Kevin Bui and Gavin Seymour were 16 years old at the time of the fire. Bui and Seymour were charged as adults in Denver District Court. Their court cases are still pending at this time.
Police said the break in the case came after a search warrant was served to Google, which helped lead them to the teenage suspects. The search warrant showed that the suspects searched for the exact address – 5312 Truckee St.–multiple times in the two weeks before the deadly fire.
At a previous hearing for Bui and Seymour, prosecutors said an app the teens used to locate Bui's stolen cellphone mistakenly led them to search for and then set fire to the wrong home.
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