Grandmother Faces Trial In Teen Grandson’s Murder

WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) – A 75-year-old West Bloomfield woman has been bound over for trial in the fatal shooting of her  17-year-old grandson in their condo in May.

Sandra Layne is charged with open murder and felony firearm in connection with Jonathan Hoffman’s death.

During Monday’s preliminary hearing, prosecutors played a recording of the 9-1-1 call made by the teen shortly before he died from multiple gunshot wounds.

“I’ve just been shot … my grandma shot me,” Hoffman is heard telling the dispatcher. ” … I’m gonna die.”

West Bloomfield Township Officer David Curry was one of the first officers to respond to the 9-1-1 call.  He testified that, upon arrival at the scene, he heard four shots fired before Layne came out of the house with her hands up.

“She was saying, very loudly, ‘I shot my grandson … I killed my grandson.’ She repeated that several times … I would say (she seemed) very upset,” Curry told the court.

Officer Derrick Kassab testified that Layne was “hysterical” and kept asking officers how her grandson was doing.

Layne cried during the officers’ testimony.  Judge Kimberly Small recessed the preliminary examination for 10 minutes to give Layne time to compose herself.

So, how has she been holding up?

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with Layne’s attorney,  Jerome Sabbota, prior to Monday’s hearing.

“Well, how would you think a 75-year-old woman is doing at the Oakland County jail that has no prior record and has killed the person that she tried to save?  She is not doing well, but she doesn’t have a choice,” Sabbota said.

Sabbota said Hoffman had drugs in his system when he was killed.

“There are many factors which caused the shooting … I’ve always said that,” said Sabbota. “The K-2 or the Spice is part of it … part of it that he tested positive on that day for K-2 with the probation department, positive that he was angry, positive he was worried about going to jail — all part of it.”

Sabbota said police had been called to the home before.

“You can’t isolate it by one day — on May 18th all of a sudden she grabs a gun and shoots him,” Sabbota said. “There were things that led up to it, things that created the fear in her mind, based upon how he was behaving.”

Sabbota said it’s a case where nobody wins, saying Layne took care of her grandchild that she loved and that nothing will take away her horror.

Hoffman had been living with his grandparents to finish high school since his divorced parents had moved out of state. Hoffman’s father, Michael Hoffman, has said he and his ex-wife were not aware of problems between the teen and his grandmother.


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