A high school senior placed a frantic 911 call to police in suburban Detroit last week, saying that he was under extreme duress. He said he had been shot by his 74-year-old grandmother, police said.
"When officers arrived, the victim was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds," Lt. Tim Diamond of the West Bloomfield Police Department told HLN on Tuesday. "He was pronounced dead at the hospital."
Sandra Maxine Layne was arraigned this week in an Oakland County court on charges related to the shooting death of her grandson, Jonathan Hoffman, after an argument Friday in the woman’s condo. The woman was forced to defend herself and is innocent, according to one of her lawyers.
“This lady is a grandmother who unfortunately had to react to her grandson’s behavior,” her attorney Jerry Sabotta told HLN Tuesday. “A disagreement occurred and it escalated to the point that she became afraid.”
Sabotta said Michigan’s so-called Stand Your Ground law doesn’t apply in this case, because, “unlike the Trayvon Martin case, which happened outside, in your own house you don’t have to stand your ground.”
Layne, who is charged with open murder and carrying a firearm in the commission of a felony, has pleaded not guilty in the case, her lawyer said.
Hoffman had been living with his grandmother for about a year, Sabotta said. The parents of the boy, who was a senior at Farmington Central High School, were divorced and live in Arizona, he said.
“All reports that we’ve had said that they had a good relationship. We don’t know what caused it,” Diamond told HLN on Tuesday.
“We initially got a call from a neighbor about shots fired,” he said. “As officers were responding we got another call from the victim, who said he had been shot by his grandmother,” Diamond said.
Diamond said contrary to media reports, the victim was not shot eight times. “A detective in court Monday (during the arraignment) said Hoffman had eight entry and exit wounds. It’s more accurate to say he was probably shot four or five times."
He said Layne had not been formally interviewed by officers because she retained an attorney immediately after the shooting.
A funeral was held for Hoffman Tuesday in Southfield, Michigan. His 15-year-old sister Jessica addressed mourners at the chapel. "The bottom line is Jon ... " she broke down and couldn't finish, according to the Detroit Free Press. Overcome with tears, she handed a piece of paper to the rabbi. "She says, 'The bottom line is Jon is the kind of big brother that every girl wishes for,' "Rabbi Joshua Bennett said as he read from the paper, the Free Press reported.
Layne has been denied bond and remains in police custody. A preliminary exam of Layne is scheduled for Thursday, according to a press release issued by West Bloomfield Police.