Chase Michael-Aaron-Todd Dershem, 29, of Roseville, Michigan, was charged with murder and child abuse in the second degree.
The weapon was found in Chase’s room with no security protection and without shelter, although the recommendation for weapons at home is to always keep them in safe and protected places.
According to a police report obtained by the Detroit News, the 3-year-old boy found the weapon and began playing with it. It discharged, striking him once.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died of his injuries. Other children in the home were unharmed.
“This is a blatant case of negligence, and 110% contributed to the child’s death. It’s very tragic and could have been avoided,” Deputy Police Chief Mitchell Berlin said to People.
Dershem faces up to 15 years on the manslaughter charge and up to 10 years in prison on the child abuse charge.
The defendant is being held on a $50,000 cash bond. If Dershem can make bail, he will be required to wear a GPS strap and avoid all contact with the victim’s family.
It is not the first time the defendant has faced justice, in 2019, Dersham was also charged with trespassing on a building in Clinton Township.
At that time the case was dismissed for lack of evidence against him.
For that case, he also has a pending bond of $3,000,000, according to the records of the Macomb County jail. Dershem has not yet entered a plea deal, and court records do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on his behalf yet.
People reached out to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office for further comments but did not hear back before publication and the man hasn’t made a statement to any news outlet thus far.