DENVER (CBS4) - Representatives from Denver's law enforcement agencies announced Sunday night that at least two teenage suspects in last August's deadly arson fire will be charged as adults. The announcement was made Sunday evening, as members of the Denver Police Department and the Denver District Attorney's Office met privately with members of Denver's Senegalese community. Two people at the meeting relayed to CBS4 what they were told afterwards.
Carolyn Tyler, a spokeswoman for the Denver DA's office, declined to comment on the CBS4 report.
The house fire on Aug. 5, 2020, killed Djibril Diol, his wife Adja, and their 2-year-old daughter. Hassan Diol and her infant daughter Hawa Baye were also killed in the fire. The family members were immigrants from Senegal.
Last week, Denver police announced three teenage suspects were arrested in connection with the fire. Two of the teens are 16 and one is 15. Attendees at the meeting said it was not clear how the case of the 15 year old would be handled.
Charging the two 16 year olds as adults -- which is expected to be announced this week based on statements at the meeting -- means harsher penalties if there is a conviction and a more public process than if the teens were charged as juveniles.
The suspects are currently being held for investigation of five counts of first-degree murder, five counts of murder in the first degree with extreme indifference, three counts of criminal attempt murder in the first degree with extreme indifference, two counts of first-degree assault with extreme indifference, one count of first-degree burglary, one count of second-degree burglary, three counts of first-degree arson and eight counts of fourth-degree arson.
Investigators have said the fire was not a hate crime and the motive remains a mystery.
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