Reporting Ron Dewey
BLOOMFIELD TWP. (WWJ) – The pre-trial examination for Sandra Layne, the West Bloomfield grandmother charged with murdering her grandson, 17-year-old Jonathon Hoffman, has been delayed until July 2 so more evidence can be reviewed.
At Bloomfield Township District Court where the 74-year-old woman appeared Thursday, questions were raised about what this case may have to do with last month’s attack on the Cipriano family by their son.
Layne’s defense attorney Jerry Sabotta was asked about a possible connection between the victim and Tucker Cipriano, who is charged in baseball beating death of his father in Farmington Hills.
“My understanding is that they knew each other. I don’t know how strong the relationship was,” said Sabotta. “There’s a house down the block from the alternative school where kids would go and they would do things at this house. Drugs and Spice was involved.”
The victim’s father, Michael Hoffman, said his son knew of Cipriano, but that they were not friends. Hoffman wouldn’t go into what problems his son may have had, saying only, “He was a great kid. He loved us and we loved him. And I think we’ll just let the other facts come out in court at this point.”
Sabbota said he needs more time to sift through the evidence in the case, with particular interest in Jonathon Hoffman’s toxicology analysis.
“My speculation is that it will probably show that he was on marijuana — that he’d been taking marijuana and that he’d been taking Spice, maybe Adderall and maybe mushrooms,” said Sabbota. “But the marijuana and the Spice I’m pretty confident.”
Sabbota said there was no other motive for shooting Hoffman than out of “fear.”
“It’s not for money. She’s not robbing him. It’s not a love triangle. What did she gain? Nothing but grief. And, you know what, whatever happens here she’s punishing herself … it doesn’t matter,” Sabbota said.
The prosecution also granted an opportunity to bring forth a motion for Layne to undergo a psychological review.
Police said Jonathan Hoffman was killed last Friday afternoon in his grandparents’ home, where he lived.
In court earlier this week, 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.
When police arrived, Layne reportedly told them she murdered her grandson.