Man pleads guilty in accidental shooting death of young boy

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. -- A convicted drug dealer will spend the next eight years behind bars in connection with the death of a 4-year old who accidentally shot himself.

Trevor Braymiller told the Skagit County Court that he is sorry and accepts responsibility in the death of Dwayne Kerrigan. But the little boy's grandfather, Rory Nash, says that isn't enough for the loss.

"He was just full of energy and life - his smile lit up the room," Nash said.

Kerrigan died last July in a Sedro Woolley home from a self-inflicted gunshot. Investigators determined Braymiller left the stolen handgun in the home he shared with Dwayne's mother in a location where the boy could find it.

Skagit County Judge Dave Needy told Braymiller, "from the limited information that I have that this young boy had a fascination with guns and that you were aware of that."

On Friday, Braymiller pleaded guilty to manslaughter. His Public Defender, Kevin Tyne, told the court the 25-year old convicted felon is deeply remorseful and first suggested Friday's guilty plea to prevent a trial.

"He told me that he did not want to put the family through the rigors and the trauma of a trial, and I respected that," Tyne said.

The prosecutor's office joined the defense in recommending 95 months in prison.

Judge Needy agreed to the sentence, nearly eight years in prison, but noted this was the second accidental shooting death he'd presided over just this year.

"It's an issue that continues to grow and continues to cause scenes like this in our courtrooms because of irresponsible handling of those weapons," Needy said.

Dwayne's paternal grandfather says eight years isn't nearly enough for such carelessness.

"Little boys are little boys," said Nash, "They're gonna play with guns, and to leave it where a four year old could find it, how stupid can you be?"

Nash said his family is devastated by the loss and can't understand why the little boy's mother, who was also in the home at the time, wasn't also charged.

Braymiller was previously convicted of possession with intent to deliver and could not legally have a gun.