Father sentenced to 3-15 years in prison for son’s death

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published August 7, 2019




ROSEVILLE — Twenty-seven-year-old Gary Chang, of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, was sentenced July 30 to 38 months to 15 years in prison for leaving a loaded gun in a place accessible to his 4-year-old son, who then fatally shot the child’s twin brother, Braylon Chang.

Roseville police were dispatched to the 16000 block of Dort Street, south of Frazho Road and west of Gratiot Avenue, at approximately 8:40 a.m. Dec. 14, 2018. Upon arrival, officers reportedly discovered a child, who lived at the home, with a gunshot wound.

Investigators said Braylon Chang was in the home with siblings and Gary Chang, who was visiting the home at the time. According to police, Gary Chang said the gun had been left unsecured on a bedroom shelf. Police said one of the siblings, an 8-year-old, had picked up an unsecured handgun that was in the pocket of a pool table and gave it to his father. According to police, Gary Chang then allegedly left the gun on a bed, and then went into a bathroom with the children’s mother when their 4-year-old son picked up the gun and discharged it, striking Braylon Chang.

Police said Braylon Chang was transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Investigators said the owner of the handgun appeared to be a brother of the suspect, although they said Gary Chang brought the weapon with him from his home in Wisconsin.

The Roseville Police Department took Gary Chang into custody later that day, and he was arraigned hours later in 39th District Court. The case was bound over to Macomb County Circuit Court, where Chang was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter. Chang entered a no contest plea June 19.

“First, my sincere condolences go to Braylon’s family for their tragic loss. Mr. Chang, however, must be held accountable for his careless actions,” Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith wrote in an email. “Nothing good can come from bringing an illegal, loaded handgun into a home with young children, and leaving it where they can easily access it.”

Smith added that a heavy sentence was appropriate for Chang, given his culpability in his son’s death and possible plans for using the gun to, as Assistant Prosecutor Molly Zappitell described it, “culminate an argumentative situation.” 

“The Judge was right when she stated that the defendant’s actions were ‘directly responsible for’ the death of little Braylon,” Smith wrote. “The truth is, Mr. Chang had negative intentions when he illegally brought the gun to the house; that is why we asked for the maximum sentence.”

Smith would not go into further detail about Chang’s possible plans for the gun, although his office explained that the gun was illegal because it was not registered to Chang.

Chang’s attorney, Joshua Jones, did not wish to comment, although he noted that the sentence was within the sentencing guidelines.

Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.