Prosecutors: No reason for Michigan woman, 75, to get short prison term in grandson's killing
Sandra Layne convicted of second-degree for death of 17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman
A 75-year-old Detroit-area woman convicted of killing her teen grandson is asking for just a year in prison for murder, on top of a mandatory two-year sentence for using a gun.
Sandra Layne's attorney filed the request this week ahead of her sentencing on April 18. Jerome Sabbota told a judge that the public doesn't need to be protected from Layne, nor does the prison system need to rehabilitate her.
"Sandra Layne is in her own prison. ... There is nothing that anybody can do to turn the clock back to the awful events that occurred on May 18, 2012," Sabbota wrote. "There are no winners or losers in a case such as this."
She was convicted last month of second-degree murder and a gun crime.
Prosecutors are awaiting a complete probation report in the case, but disagree with the sentencing request. Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said Friday that sentencing guidelines call for at least 12 years in prison, in addition to a mandatory two-year punishment for using a firearm.
"There is no reason to go below the guidelines," Cooper said.
Assistant prosecutor Paul Walton, who handled the case at trial, said evidence and testimony at the trial suggest a stiffer penalty would be appropriate. He noted that 17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman was shot six times, including twice in the back.
Layne claimed she shot her grandson in self-defense during a physical altercation last May at a home they shared in Oakland County's West Bloomfield Township, but jurors rejected that defense. A critical piece of evidence was a recording of a 911 call in which the teen pleaded for help while being shot again by Layne.
"This was an execution," Walton said after the guilty verdict.
If Judge Denise Langford Morris agrees to the extraordinary departure from sentencing guidelines, Layne would be eligible for parole after three years.
"Any lengthy sentence of incarceration most likely will be a death sentence to her," Sabbota said.
Hoffman was living with his grandmother during his final year of high school while his parents were in Arizona tending to a daughter with a brain tumor. He had instances of drug use and tested positive for synthetic marijuana on the day he was killed.
"She did everything she could in an attempt to save this young man so he would be successful. To no avail," Sabbota wrote.
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