Jonathan Hoffman, 17, was shot five times. His grandmother, Sandra Layne, 74, is accused of killing him during a dispute in May. She says it was self defence, a judge ordered a trial for “Open Murder.”
Tapes of the emergency call were played publicly for the first time at the hearing, during which Layne was ordered to stand trial on murder charges in the shooting death of her grandson, 17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman. Layne, petite with graying red hair, was acting in self-defense, her attorney later told reporters.
“I’ve just been shot. My grandma shot me. I’m going to die. Help,” Jonathan yelled into a cellphone on May 18 from the condo he shared with his grandparents in West Bloomfield Township, an upscale suburb.
A few minutes later, he tells the operator: “I got shot, shot again. Please help. Help,” before his voice trails off and a woman’s shouts are heard in the background. When police arrived on the scene, Layne came out with her hands up screaming “I murdered my grandson.'”
An autopsy revealed that Jonathan was shot three times in the chest, once in the abdomen and once in his left arm. The teen also had traces of synthetic marijuana in his urine, tests showed.
At one point, Small granted Layne’s defense attorney a short break to allow his client to compose herself. Friends and relatives quietly sat behind her in the small courtroom, their eyes also red from crying.
The shooting was the second time this year that officers were called to the home.
On March 21, officers responded to complaints and found Jonathan outside. Layne told police she was having a hard time because her grandson was very upset and yelling. No arrests were made that day.
Four days earlier, Jonathan, who was a senior at a local alternative high school, was pulled over in nearby Farmington Hills and ticketed for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He later received a 93-day suspended sentence and was placed on 12 months’ probation.
Jonathan was living with Sandra Layne and her husband, Fred, while his mother and father, rumored to be divorcing were living outside Michigan. Neither parent showed up in court on Monday.
“This was a child who was dumped on her,” Sabbota said. “She killed a person she loved that she tried to save. There are no winners. No matter what we do to her, it doesn’t really matter. Watch her. She’s in her own hell. Nobody wins this case.”