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Grandmother Charged In Teen’s Shooting Death

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Sandra Layne in court. (WWJ Photo/Marie Osborne)

Sandra Layne in court. (WWJ Photo/Marie Osborne)

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FARMINGTON (WWJ) – A 74-year-old woman has been charged with open murder in the shooting death of her 17-year-old grandson.

Sandra Layne was arraigned Monday afternoon in 48th District Court.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Marie Osborne reported the petite elderly woman was wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles as the judge ordered her held without bond.  She did not look at the judge or attorneys but instead waved and blew kisses to her husband.

Police said Jonathan Hoffman was killed late Friday afternoon in his grandparents’ West Bloomfield Township home, where he lived.

In court Monday, a police officer described a 9-1-1 call during which Hoffman said he was shot by his grandmother and that he would die. While still on the phone, he was shot again repeatedly.

Meantime, friends and classmates at Farmington Central High are trying to come to terms with what happened.

jonathan hoffman Grandmother Charged In Teens Shooting Death

Jonathan Hoffman (credit: Ira Kaufman Chapel)

Anwar David said that one moment he was looking forward to hanging out with Hoffman at the pool. The next moment, he learned on the news that his friend had been shot to death.

“Very, very smart … good grades, talented kid; very quiet, though, out of class,” Davis said. “He would just say stuff that you would never know cause he was so smart.”

Davis said he also knew Hoffman’s grandmother, whom he said was a nice lady, and cannot think of any reason that would justify the shooting at their home. “I don’t know. I can’t come to a conclusion like, why she’d just … why she’d take it that far,” he said.

Another classmate, Chelsea Schade, said she hasn’t stopped crying since learning of Hoffman’s fate.

“He’s not aggressive. He’s the most gentle, nice person ever. He was always there and he was always so giving. He would never do anything to justify being shot like that,” Schade said.

Police said Layne had recently purchased her 40 caliber semi-automatic handgun for protection.

Her attorney said his client was afraid and felt she had no other choice but to fire the handgun that took the teen’s life.  He also said drugs were found in the home.

Police said Hoffman was not armed.

The teen’s father said there was no justification for the use of deadly force against his son. Michael Hoffman said the teen was living with his grandparents so he could complete his senior year while his divorced parents settled in Arizona.

Prosecutors have asked for a competency exam but the judge said that could come at a later time.

MORE: Funeral Services Set For Murdered 17-Year Old W. Bloomfield Boy

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