Grandma Shoots Her Grandson 5 Times

[Pontiac, Michigan]

Jonathan Hoffman (17) lived with his maternal grandparents as his divorced parents attempted to settle their separate lives in Arizona.

His grandmother was 74 year old Sandra Layne.

Jonathan’s behavior had questionable moments, so much so that he ended up attending an alternative high school for children with behavioral issues. He had been using recreational drugs in his spare time and was recently ticketed for marijuana possession. According to Layne, she was overwhelmed with the responsibility of dealing with her grandson. She said that she pleaded with his mother, Jennifer, to help her, but claimed nothing was done. Layne’s defense attorney referred to the situation as Jonathan being “dumped” on her.

In the previous months to the murder, authorities responded to a domestic disturbance. The police officer that arrived on scene saw Jonathan acting erratic in the street. He was yelling profanity to his grandmother and almost got into an altercation with police. According to police records, no arrests were made that day and it seemed as if everything had calmed down.

However, on May 18th, 2012, Jonathan had a scheduled drug test for his probation from his previous charge. He tested positive for synthetic marijuana, also known as K2/Spice. The results ultimately caused an argument between Jonathan and his grandmother. A 911 call was placed from the residence later that evening.

Jonathan: “I’ve just been shot”

Operator: “Okay how did you get shot?”

Jonathan: “My grandma shot me”

Operator: “Your grandma and grandpa shot you?”

Jonathan: “My grandma! I’m going to die…help!”

He explained that he had been shot directly in the chest. The operator reassured him that help was on the way for him, but the minutes felt like hours for him. Jonathan was heard on the 911 call struggling for breath, gasping, and gurgling in between his answers to the operator. His tone of voice was filled with panic as if he knew he was slowly dying. The phone fell silent for a minute or two before more gunshots rang out. Layne had reloaded her handgun and returned to shoot her grandson even more. Jonathan cried out in pain to the operator “Ow! I got shot again! Help please!” Once again, he was reassured the help was getting closer. At one point during the emotional call, Layne is heard in the background of the phone call angrily yelling “Let go! Let go!”, as if Jonathan had a hold of her or the gun during his last moments on earth trying to save himself.

When police arrived on scene, Layne was standing behind a screen door holding the murder weapon. She admitted immediately that she had shot and killed her grandson. Layne complied with police and dropped the gun after being ordered to do so. The 75 year old woman was quickly taken into custody and charged with second degree murder. When Jonathan’s body was assessed, it was determined that he had been shot a total of 5 times; three times in the chest, once in the abdomen and once in his left arm.

Layne said that she shot her grandson because she feared his drug use and future behavior. Apparently after Jonathan tested positive for synthetic marijuana, he demanded a car to leave the city so he wouldn’t have to go to jail. Her defense attorney said that she shot her grandson in self defense after he physically attacked her.

However, the prosecution argued that the forensic evidence proved otherwise. Layne had fired her gun a total of 10 times even though only 5 struck her grandson which proved that she had a deeper motive than self defense. She chased Jonathan around the house to continuously shoot him. Layne also did not have any injuries to support the argument that Jonathan attacked her that day. Furthermore, Jonathan was not fully dressed when his body was found which conflicts with Layne’s story that he was attempting to flee the city in the moments prior to his death.

Jennifer Hoffman, Jonathan’s mother and Layne’s daughter, said “Everything she said in her statement was a lie. She is a complete narcissist and a liar. I wish I had seen signs of how evil she was before I left her with my son.” Jonathan’s father explained that Layne “put on her war paint and went gunning for my son.” On the stand, Layne repeatedly blamed Jonathan’s parents and Jonathan’s behavior for sending her over the edge.

Sandra Layne was sentenced to at least 22 years in prison, but her lawyers say that she will simply not live that long anyways. Layne cried that she was sorry and did not want to die in prison. She is still serving her time today.

--

--

--

23. Sociology & Criminal Justice Major. True Crime Fanatic. Writer. All articles are tossed together from the comfort of my couch.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Five Shocking Cases of Incest That Led to Murder

Over 300 Bones Found in Potential Serial Killer’s Garden Pond — True Crime

True Crime Murder on Mount Isolation

10-Year-Old With “Secret Older Boyfriend” Abducted From School

In the Shadow of Death Mountain: The Dyatlov Pass Incident

The Unsolved Disappearance of Jean-Loïc Briand

Serial Killer Confessions

A Robbery, Murder and Prison Escape — True Crime

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Holly Alexis

Holly Alexis

23. Sociology & Criminal Justice Major. True Crime Fanatic. Writer. All articles are tossed together from the comfort of my couch.

More from Medium

A $3,200 Murder-for-Hire Plot in Annapolis, Maryland

A historic brick buiding with trees on either side of the photo and white-trimmed windows. An American flag and a Maryland flag can be seen on the front of the building.

The Unsolved Yogurt Shop Murders

The Unsettling Disappearance of Alicia Reynolds