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Grandmother of Slain West Bloomfield Teen Stands Mute

Sandra Layne, 74, stood mute being arraigned on an open charge of murder in shooting death of grandson Jonathan Hoffman, 17, in May.

PONTIAC — Sandra Layne, 74, a former schoolteacher, stood mute Thursday morning at her arraignment 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  to his upper body at the hands of Layne, his grandmother, in the West Bloomfield condominium which she owns on Brookview Lane.

To stand mute means that a not guilty plea was entered on Layne's behalf. She did not speak during the arraignment.

With a thin smile in an orange jumpsuit, Layne gestured to family from the jury box of Circuit Court Judge Denise Langford Morris while in court. The charges were not read aloud and a pre-trial status conference was scheduled for Sept. 13.

Meanwhile, defense attorney Jerome Sabbota said that forensic lab reports including ballistics analysis, blood spatter, and DNA testing will be completed and shared between the defense and prosecution. 

Layne continues to sit in a two-woman cell at Oakland County Jail, Sabbota said, without bond. Sabbota continued that while Layne's husband, sister, and son-in-law were in attendance Thursday, Hoffman's parents were not.

"She's doing about as well as can be expected under the circumstances," Sabbota said. "She lives with what she's done ... she had to defend herself and do what she needed to do."

Sabbota did not elaborate on a possibly threat which Hoffman may have posed on May 18, when Layne allegedly shot him several times during an argument.

chris. roznowski March 09, 2013 at 02:24 AM
I just wrote a comment but i donot see it. Did I make error ?

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