Sandra Layne, 75, was found guilty Tuesday of second-degree murder in the death of her 17-year-old grandson in May 2012. Her daughter, Jennifer Hoffman, spoke out to reporters afterward calling her mother a "monster."
"It's really hard to comprehend that your own mother could do something like this to your own child," she said. "I just know that my son is in heaven, and that's a place that she'll never see."
Jonathan Hoffman was staying with Layne when she shot him six times in her West Bloomfield Township, Mich., condo on May 18. One of the gunshots was fired while the teen was on the phone with a 911 operator begging for help. "My grandma shot me. I'm going to die. Help. I got shot again,"Jonathan said on recording.
Claiming she shot in self-defense, Layne said she was afraid of her grandson and his friends. The boy's parents are calling the guilty verdict "vindication" for their son.
While Jonathan's divorced parents moved to Arizona and cared for a young daughter with a brain tumor, Layne offered to let him stay with her for his senior year of high school. His mother said she knew the boy had used drugs, but she was unaware of any deeper conflict between him and his grandmother.
"It's a final vindication for my son, to restore his good name and reputation, because over the course of the last nine months, it's been tarnished in a very cruel manner," his father Michael Hoffman said.
Layne wept during the verdict Tuesday. She claimed she shot 10 rounds at her grandson in self-defense after he kicked her and struck her face during an argument. She said he demanded $2,000 and her car in order to flee Michigan because he failed a drug test, which would have been a parole violation.
After her arrest, a hospital nurse who examined Layne said she did not have any injuries and had spoken lovingly about her grandson.
Prosecutor Paul Walton said Layne did not initally mention that he had attacked her during her confession to the crime.
Walton and defense attorney Jerome Sabbota agreed that the 911 call played a vital roll in the jury's decision. "They said they played it over and over and over again" in the jury room Walton said.
Michael Hoffman said his son showed "amazing courage" in the face of death. He said "we could have had a very different result" at trial without that 911 recording.