'US granny shot grandson 8 times'

A 74-year-old American grandmother has been charged with murder in the shooting death of her 17-year-old grandson. A detective told a judge that eight entry and exit wounds were found in the high school senior's body.
Updated on May 22, 2012 04:10 PM IST
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PTI | ByHT Correspondent, Bloomfield Township

A 74-year-old woman has been charged with murder in the shooting death of her 17-year-old grandson.

Police said Jonathan Hoffman called police and told an emergency dispatcher that he had been shot in the chest by his grandmother, Sandra Layne, and "was going to die."

By the time officers arrived at the family's upscale condo in a Detroit suburb, police said at least four more shots from a .40-caliber handgun had been pumped into the high school senior.

A West Bloomfield Township detective told a judge during a Monday court hearing that eight entry and exit wounds were found in Hoffman's body after the Friday afternoon shooting in the condo he shared with his grandparents northwest of Detroit.

Layne's lawyer Jerome Sabbota has said Hoffman was troubled, Layne was afraid of her grandson and she fired her new handgun because she felt she had no choice.

Layne has been charged with open murder and is being 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, Arizona.

One of Layne's attorneys, Mitchell Ribitwer, told reporters on 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 emergency 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 Tuesday.

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