On 911 Call, Grandson Pleaded for Help After Being Shot, Detective Testifies
Sandra Layne, a 74-year-old former schoolteacher from West Bloomfield, is being held without bond after being charged with murder in 17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman's shooting death.
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — Seventeen-year-old Jonathan Hoffman called 911 and pleaded for help after being shot in the chest, allegedly at the hands of his 74-year-old grandmother in their home in a gated community in West Bloomfield , according to police testimony at Sandra Layne's arraignment hearing Monday afternoon.
Layne, a former schoolteacher, was arraigned Monday with an open charge of murder in Friday's shooting death of her grandson, a senior at Farmington Central alternative high school who previously attended North Farmington and Hillel Day School.
After waving to family, including her husband, in the 48th District Court courtoom, Layne bowed her head and stood mute as a West Bloomfield Police detective described Hoffman's plea to a 911 operator and Layne's response after police reported to the scene.
"The subject stated that his grandma had just shot him in the chest and that he was going to die and he pleaded for help," Detective Brad Boulet testified in front of Judge Marc Barron. "At approximately the three-minute mark of the 911 call, the subject screamed and exclaimed he had just been shot again."
As officers arrived to the condo in Maple Place Villas where Hoffman lived with his grandparents, they heard several gunshots and ordered Layne to come out of the house, Boulet testified.
"While walking toward the officers, Ms. Layne exclaimed that she had just murdered her grandson,” Boulet said.
The Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office found that Hoffman had eight entry or exit gunshot wounds and two bullets still in his body, Boulet testified.
The teen was found upstairs, unresponsive. He was transported him to Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 6 p.m.
As part of the open murder charge, a judge will decide the severity of degree after the possibility of conviction. Layne, also facing felony firearms charges, could be sentenced to life in prison.
There's a question of whether Layne is competent to stand trial, Assistant Oakland County Prosecutor Jason Pernick said, but did not elaborate.
Defense attorney Mitchell Ribitwer stated that Layne, a married mother of five with nine grandchildren, worked as a schoolteacher and had lived in West Bloomfield for 30 years. "She's very distraught, upset, withdrawn," Ribitwer, a Royal Oak defense attorney, said after the arraignment. "The family is distraught and concerned. It's a difficult time for everyone."
Layne has not talked to investigators regarding the relationship she had with her maternal grandson or why he was living with his grandparents after his mother and father moved to Arizona, West Bloomfield Police Lt. Tim Diamond said.
"There were some issues with this young man," Ribitwer said. "I don’t know if he was on drugs at the time this happened, but it’s my understanding that there were drugs in the home. ... I’m not sure what the substance was, but it appears this young man may have been using or selling drugs."
Layne is scheduled to be back in court May 24 for a pre-exam conference before Judge Kimberly Small.
Funeral arrangements have been made at Ira Kaufman Chapel of Southfield. Temple Israel Rabbi Joshua Bennett will officiate at 11 a.m. Tuesday with internment to follow at Machpelah Cemetery of Ferndale.