DENVER -- Three men were arrested and under investigation for murder after a bar was set on fire to cover up five killings committed during a robbery, authorities said yesterday.

"I don't want to say that it was a robbery gone bad, but it wound up being a robbery," police Cmdr. Ronald Saunier said of the early Wednesday deaths and blaze at Fero's Bar & Grill. "The arson was set to try to cover up the crime scene."

Dexter Lewis, 22, one of the suspects, was advised of the potential charges against him, then led from the courtroom in chains, mouthing "I love you" to his mother, Tammesa Jones, in the gallery.

Earlier, she said her son is an artist who is expecting a baby with his fiancee. "This is not something he would ever do," she said. Moments later, she fell sobbing into her sister's arms.

The others arrested were Joseph Hill, 27, and his brother, Lynell Hill, 24. Charges have not yet been filed.

The fire occurred at about 1:30 a.m. Firefighters found the bodies of a man and four women, including the owner of the bar, Young Fero, 69.

Investigators were led to the three suspects by tips received after a news conference. -- AP

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