The trial of 75-year-old Michigan grandmother, Sandra Layne, who is charged in the shooting death of her 17-year-old grandson, began on Tuesday.
Jonathan Hoffman died in May of 2012 after he was shot twice in the West Bloomfield Township condo he shared with his grandparents.
During Layne's appearance in Oakland County Circuit Court on first-degree murder and gun charges, prosecutors said Hoffman was shot in the stomach while he pleaded with a 911 dispatcher to send help. Just when the teen "thought he was safe ... Sandra Layne walks up and shoots him again. This time in the stomach," Oakland Country chief assistant prosecutor Paul Walton said in his opening statement.
Hoffman’s autopsy revealed he was shot a total of five times: three in the chest, once in the stomach, and once in his lower arm. He also had traces of synthetic marijuana in his system.
Layne’s defense attorney Jerome Sabbota claims that she feared for her safety. Layne is "not a murderer," Sabbota told jurors. "She was afraid. She felt she had no choice. Why else would she shoot him? This is a tragic case."
Hoffman was living with his grandparents while his parents were divorcing and living outside of Michigan. He was ticketed for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia after being pulled over in Farmington Hills in March 2012. He received a 92-day suspended sentence and was given 12 months’ probation.
On March 21, 2012, police were called to the home when Layne told police that her grandson was upset and yelling. She told the 911 operator that Hoffman was very angry and threatening to run away. Several times during the recording Layne can be heard talking aside to Hoffman, “Because I love you and I want to see you get some help. Who else can I call?” she told her grandson. “I know you hate me…but we need to get you some help…(I called 911) because I was desperate and I didn’t know what to do. I was desperate.”
Sabbota said it was after this incident that Layne bought a gun.
During Hoffman’s 911 call, played in preliminary examinations last summer, the teen shouted, “I've just been shot. My grandma shot me. I'm going to die. Help."
A few minutes later, he tells the dispatcher: "I got shot, shot again. Please help. Help," before his voice trails off and a woman's shouts are heard in the background.
According to an officer who testified at the preliminary examination, Layne walked out of the house when police arrived with her hands up and screamed, “I murdered my grandson.”
The weapon, a glock 9mm semiautomatic handgun, was found just inside the front door of the home. Nine spent cartridges were also found.
Sabbota said Layne is expected to take the stand during the trial.
Source: Huffington Post