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March 28, 2013 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-03-28

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Second-Degree Murder

Jury returns quickly with conviction
for grandmother who shot grandson.

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Symposium on
modern Hebrew and Israeli Literature



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using a tissue to wipe his eyes and
hide his face from the cameras.
After the jurors were dismissed,
t took less than two days of delib-
they met privately with the attorneys
eration for the jury to find Sandra
from both sides. The 911 tape, which
Layne, 75, guilty of second-degree
the jurors listened to several times
murder in the shooting death of
during their deliberations, was a key
Jonathan Hoffman, her
factor in their decision,
17-year-old grandson.
according to Sabbota and
Layne fired a total of 10
Chief Assistant Prosecutor
shots at Hoffman, six of
Paul Walton. The six-
which struck and wounded
minute tape has a gap
him, on May 18, 2012.
of almost three minutes
Layne testified that during
between Hoffman telling
an argument over a drug
the emergency operator
o his grandmother shot him
screening the teen had
failed earlier that day, she
and Layne re-entering the
went upstairs to Hoffman's
E room and shooting him
loft bedroom armed with
a Glock 17 handgun she
A trail of Layne's bloody
had purchased three weeks
footprints indicate she
went down into the base-
"I wanted him to hear
ment in between the first
me, pay attention to me.
and second set of shots.
He had to listen," she said.
One set of footprints led to
Hoffman, who feared
a chair that held the gun
he would be sent to jail
case and an empty sleeve
for violating the terms of
of ammunition. Layne tes-
his probations, had asked
tified she went downstairs
Layne to give him $2,000
to hide.
and the keys to her car so
"The obvious question
Jonathan Hoffman
he could leave town, Layne
is why didn't she pick up
the phone?" said Walton.
Hoffman was living with Layne
"Unlike most people, she knew the
and her husband, Fred, in their West
response time of the West Bloomfield
Bloomfield condominium while his
police [because of a previous call], yet
parents were in Arizona taking care
she chose 10 bullets over 11 phones
of their daughter, Jessie, who was
[the number in her home]:'
diagnosed with a brain tumor shortly
Walton also said the jurors thought
after the family arrived. Hoffman,
Layne's testimony made her seem
who had originally moved with his
evasive and deceptive, especially dur-
parents, was invited by Layne to
ing her second day on the stand. She
return to Michigan and stay with her
refused to answer many of the "yes"
so he could finish out his senior year
or "no" questions posed by Assistant
at Farmington Central High School.
Oakland County Prosecutor Kelli
Since the verdict, Layne's attor-
Megyesi, and responded to other
ney, Jerome Sabbota, has criticized
questions, such as where she kept the
Hoffman's parents, who are divorced,
gun case or how the gun came to be
for leaving their son, who was on pro- loaded, by saying she did not recall.
bation for drug possession, with his
Sabbota said he may file an appeal
elderly grandmother.
based on certain evidentiary rulings
Michael and Jennifer Hoffman
and portions of the jury instructions
regarding involuntary manslaughter.
contend they were reluctant to send
Jonathan at first, but Layne "actively
"This is a case that should have been
campaigned" for him to come and
resolved. I don't look at it as a win or
live with her.
loss," he said.
When the verdict was announced,
He said he was prevented from
Layne looked stunned, mouthing the
presenting certain evidence, such as
testimony from Hoffman's probation
words, "Oh, my God:' to Sabbota.
Layne's 87-year-old husband, Fred,
officer, which would have indicated
who sat in the courtroom through-
the teen's state of mind in the weeks
out the two-week trial, began to cry,
prior to his death.

Contributing Writer


Sponsored by the MSU Jewish Studies
Program and by the MSU Libraries.


Made possible by a special gift
from Ritta Rosenberg.


z.1 1111N t

16 March 28 • 2013



All refreshments and meals served
at the Symposium are prepared and
served under kosher supervision.

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Second-Degree on page 22

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