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Grandmother charged with murder after allegedly shooting grandson eight times

Jonathan Hoffman, seen in an undated family photo released by the Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield, Mich., was fatally shot at his grandparent's home in West Bloomfield Township, Mich.
Jonathan Hoffman, seen in an undated family photo released by the Ira Kaufman Chapel in Southfield, Mich., was fatally shot at his grandparent's home in West Bloomfield Township, Mich.Ira Kaufman Chapel via AP

A 74-year-old woman has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting her grandson in the chest eight times as he called 911.

Jonathan Hoffman, 17, was shot Friday evening at the family's condo in West Bloomfield Township, an upscale Detroit suburb, police said. His grandmother, Sandra Layne, a retired teacher, was charged with open murder and is being held without bond.

During Layne's arraignment Monday, a police detective testified that Hoffman frantically told a 911 dispatcher he had been shot in the chest by his grandmother and that he was going to die.

By the time officers arrived at the property, at least four more shots from a .40-caliber handgun had been pumped into the high school senior.

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A West Bloomfield Township detective told a judge that eight entry and exit wounds were found in Hoffman's body and two bullets were in his body after the shooting.

"At approximately the three-minute mark of the 911 call, the subject screamed and exclaimed that he had just been shot again," Detective Brad Boulet said, according to The Detroit News. "Responding officers heard several gunshots inside the house."

Layne stood mute in court when the charge was read, and a not guilty plea was entered on her behalf.

An open murder charge allows a jury to decide on whether a first- or second-degree charge applies after hearing evidence.

Hoffman had been attending an alternative high school in nearby Farmington and living with his maternal grandparents so he could complete his senior year while his divorced parents settled in Arizona, according to his father, Michael Hoffman of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Drug paraphernalia
Layne's attorneys have said there were problems at the condo, and Layne was afraid of her grandson. One of her attorneys, Mitchell Ribitwer, told reporters Monday that drugs and drug paraphernalia apparently belonging to the teen were found at the condo after Hoffman was killed.

Michael Hoffman said that regardless of his son's behavior, the teen was unarmed and didn't deserve to be shot to death.

"I'm not saying he was aggressive, but if he was, I don't understand how being aggressive but unarmed would justify her using deadly force," Hoffman said according to

Detective Brad Boulet testified about Hoffman's 911 call and said when officers arrived at the condo, Layne was inside, behind a screened door.

"She put the gun on the floor after being ordered so by officers," Boulet said. "She exclaimed she had just murdered her grandson."

Another of Layne's attorneys told that he thought Layne was "not in control of her emotions" at the time of the incident.

"She was afraid. She's not a big, strong woman," Jerome Sabbota said.

'Derogatory to his grandmother'
Wearing an orange jumpsuit in court, Layne smiled and nodded to her husband and other family members.

Ribitwer said Layne had lived in the West Bloomfield area for 30 years. His requests for a reasonable bond and electronic tether monitor for Layne were denied. A pre-examination conference for Layne was set for Thursday morning.

Prosecutors had no comment after the hearing. Layne's husband and other relatives attended the hearing but also didn't comment.

Police had responded in March to a domestic disturbance at Layne's home.

"I spoke to the officer who responded, and he indicated this young man was totally out of control in the street," Ribitwer told reporters Monday. "He was derogatory to his grandmother. He was yelling and shouting and almost got into it with the police."

Jonathan Hoffman's funeral is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday. staff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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