A 75-year-old Detroit-area grandmother charged with killing her teen grandson is struggling to recall the sequence of events during the fatal shooting at her home.
Under gentle but persistent cross-examination Thursday, Sandra Layne took long pauses and sometimes cried Thursday, her second day on the witness stand. She admits shooting 17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman at her West Bloomfield Township home but says it was done out of fear.
Layne is charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutor Kelli Megyesi asked questions to emphasize that Layne shot Hoffman, dashed to the basement and then returned to shoot him again.
Layne testified Wednesday that her grandson was rebellious and had a drug problem. She said he demanded her car and $2,000 before the shooting.
She told jurors that the teen attended an alternative high school, used drugs and spent time with friends whom she didn't know or trust. He couldn't control his temper, destroying computer equipment and kicking doors and the car dashboard.
Hoffman went to live with his grandparents after his parents divorced and moved to Arizona. Layne said she "adored" the teenager but that their relationship changed when he started taking drugs. An autopsy revealed traces of the synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or Spice, in his body.
"Did you want to kill this young man?" defense attorney Jerome Sabbota asked.
"Of course not. I still love him," Layne replied.
On the day of the shooting, Layne said, Hoffman had flunked a drug test and was at risk of being sent to jail for violating probation in a marijuana case.
Layne said he kicked her and struck her in the head and that she tried to hide from him in the basement.
Authorities said Layne fired 10 shots, striking Hoffman six times, even as he was on the phone begging a 911 operator for help.
She said she had purchased a gun a month before the killing because she was afraid of Hoffman's friends. She told jurors she was "desperate and didn't know what to do."
Layne faces mandatory life in prison without parole if convicted of first-degree murder.
More previous testimony: