Trial begins for Michigan woman, 74, in shooting death of her 17-year-old grandson
Sandra Layne accused of killing Jonathan Hoffman
Attorneys painted the picture Tuesday of painful screams and desperate pleads as what unfolded inside a West Bloomfield home last May when a 17-year-old was shot by his grandmother.
Opening arguments are under way in the trial of 74-year-old Sandra Layne, who is charged with first-degree murder and weapons charges for the death of Jonathan Hoffman.
The prosecution opened by saying the teen is heard on 911 calls desperately pleading, saying he was dying after being shot several times by his grandmother. He called 911 once himself and a neighbor also called 911 after hearing the shots. The prosecution said the teen tried to escape by fleeing to different areas of the house and leaving a trail of blood, something Layne would have had to walk through as she continue to open fire on the teen.
"I got shot again. My stomach. Ouch. Ouch," Jonathan is heard saying on his 911 call.
The prosecutor said when officers arrived at the house, they heard more shots coming from inside the house. And when officers made contact with Layne, the first thing she said was, "I murdered my grandson."
Attorney says shooting was in self-defense
The teen was living with his grandparents so he could stay in Farmington schools while his divorced parents settled in Arizona, said his father, Michael Hoffman, of Scottsdale, Ariz.
Sabbota said Hoffman had legal problems over drugs and had conflicts with his grandmother.
Defense attorney Jerome Sabbota said the killing was in self-defense.
"Sandra Layne is not a murderer," he said.
He detailed the teen's trouble past with drugs, pointing out he had been convicted of marijuana possession and once had to be hospitalized for overdosing on mushrooms.
He said Layne took the teen in, despite his troubles, and cared for him the best she could.
"What would she gain from murdering her grandson?" Sabbota asked.
The defense also played a 911 call from March 21, a separate incident, where Layne called to say Jonathan was in a rage and trying to run away. He tells the operator she's trying to get him into her car so he can't leave.
"I love you and I want us to get some help," Layne is heard saying.
Layne is expected to testify.
The first witness was a West Bloomfield Police Department dispatcher.
She testified that she and another dispatcher answered four 911 calls within a 10 minute period regarding the shooting at Layne's home. Three were from a neighbor who was reporting hearing gunfire. The other was from Jonathan.
"I've been shot," the teen is heard on the 911 call. "My grandma shot me. I'm going to die. Help."
WATCH VIDEO: Dispatcher testifies about 911 call in Layne trial
The second witness to take the stand was West Bloomfield Police Office Brian Tash.
He testified that he was the third officer to arrive on scene and heard three shots as he walked up to the house.
The prosecution played dashcam from his patrol car that showed officers outside the home and Layne coming out of the home, where she was taken into custody.
Tash said when he went inside he saw a black handgun near the front door, and blood splattered throughout the house on walls, in the kitchen and basement.
When the defense cross-examined Tash, they asked him if he was able to say where the shots he had heard came from or if he could tell who had fired them. He said he could not.