Grandmother charged in domestic shooting death of grandson in Mich.
Defense atty. says she was afraid of him, past history of domestic response by police; teen was shot 8 times
By Corey Williams
BLOOMFIELD TWP., Mich. — Jonathon Hoffman frantically told a 911 dispatcher he had been shot in the chest by his grandmother and was going to die, a police detective testified Monday.
By the time officers arrived at the family's upscale condo in a Detroit suburb, at least four more shots from a .40-caliber handgun had been pumped into the 17-year-old high school senior.
A West Bloomfield Township detective told a judge during Monday's arraignment for 74-year-old Sandra Layne that eight entry and exit wounds were found in Hoffman's body after the Friday afternoon shooting.
Layne has been charged with open murder and held without bond. She 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.
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.
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."
Wearing an orange jumpsuit in court, Layne smiled and nodded to her husband and other family members.
Ribitwer described her to the judge as a retired teacher who has 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," defense attorney 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
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