Grandmother of Slain West Bloomfield Teen Due in Court
Sandra Layne, 74, expected to be arraigned on charge of open murder in shooting death of grandson Jonathan Hoffman, 17, in May.
Sandra Layne, 74, a former schoolteacher, has arraignment scheduled at Oakland County Circuit Court in front of Judge Denise Langford Morris Thursday at 8:30 a.m.
Layne was bound over for trial last week by Judge Kimberly Small on an open charge of murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Prosecutors say Jonathan Hoffman, 17, died May 18 as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body at the hands of Layne, his grandmother, in the West Bloomfield condominium which she owns on Brookview Lane.
Layne physically expressed pain last week as the 911 call which Hoffman made as he said he was being shot was played in open court, by crying and rocking back and forth.
During the six-minute call, Hoffman explained that he was shot in his chest and sitting down before a back-and-forth exchange with the dispatcher. Then, he cried out.
"I got shot again," Hoffman cried out. "Please help."
Later, a shrill voice, different from that of Hoffman's, can be heard crying out: "Let go. Let go!"
West Bloomfield Police Department officers testified to hearing three gunshots ring out after they were called to the scene, as they walked from their vehicles to the condo.
"Three gunshots, one after another, in sequential order," testified WBPD Officer Derick Kassab.
Kassab continued that Layne gave herself up to police at her front door, where officers later found a Glock with blood on it. Layne herself was found with blood on her hands and clothing.
According to testimony, Layne was hysterical, screaming that she had just shot and killed her grandson, even after being placed in a police car.
Small's ruling came as little surprise to Layne's defense attorney, Jerome Sabbota, who had pushed for Layne to be bound over on charges of second-degree murder.
"Self-defense is an affirmative defense, which means that evidence needs to be brought forth," Sabbota explained last week. "If you listen closely to the 911 tape, (Hoffman) is grabbing (Layne), he's holding on to her, he's not letting go."
Sabbota estimates the case will go to trial early next year.
Stay tuned to Patch for updates from court Thursday.