Jonathan Hoffman Murder: Where is Sandra Layne Now?

Image Credit: R.I.P Jonathan Hoffman/Facebook

In 2012, a 911 call was made by 17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman, urgently requesting help as he was under gunfire and his life was in imminent danger. The dispatcher could hear additional gunshots in the background too, but by the time officials arrived at his residence, he had sadly already lost his life. Oxygen’s ‘Kill or Be Killed: Grandma’s Gun,’ delves into the investigation that ultimately led to the apprehension of his killer, aiming to comprehend the sequence of events that culminated in such unforeseen circumstances.

Jonathan Hoffman Called 911 While He Was Being Killed

Born on October 9, 1994, Jonathan Hoffman was the son of Michael and Jennifer Hoffman. He became an older brother when his sister Jessica was born a few years later. He was cherished and he was also a beloved child as well as a caring brother who always looked out for his family. In fact, when Jessica was diagnosed with a brain tumor, he was okay with his parents’ decision to move to Arizona to seek better treatment for her. At the time, Jonathan was in his final year at Farmington Central High School, and his grandmother, Sandra Layne, offered for him to stay with her and her husband, Fred Layne, at their West Bloomfield house.

Image Credit: R.I.P Jonathan Hoffman/Facebook

On May 18, 2012, concerned neighbors called 911 to report they could hear gunfire coming from the Layne’s otherwise quiet household. Shortly before this, Hoffman himself had also dialed 911, frantically stating he was being shot. He stayed on the call and, after a while, uttered the words, “I’m going to die,” indicating that he had been shot again. When police arrived, they could still hear bullets emanating from inside the house. Unfortunately, by the time they reached Hoffman, he’d already succumbed to his injuries. He had suffered six gunshot wounds, two in his back and the remaining four on his torso.

The Killer Claimed Self-Defense in Jonathan Hoffman’s Murder

During the 911 call itself, Jonathan Hoffman had asserted that his grandmother, Sandra Layne, was the one shooting at him. Upon arrival, authorities then discovered Layne inside the house, holding a firearm, with bloodstains all over her hands. The three-story house was extensively covered in blood, creating a distressing scene. She was thus promptly taken into custody and the news sent shockwaves through the neighborhood, especially as she claimed that she had shot her grandson in self-defense.

Layne informed the police that Hoffman had developed a drug addiction, having previously overdosed and ended up in the hospital, resulting in probation. She alleged that his behavior was becoming increasingly violent each day, leading to her fear for her safety. To highlight this fear, she mentioned purchasing a gun a month before Hoffman’s death. She then asserted that on the day of the incident, her grandson had failed a drug test, revealing synthetic marijuana in his system. She stated that he became aggressive when she refused to hand over her car keys, as he wanted to flee and avoid police involvement.

However, the police harbored skepticism regarding Layne’s self-defense claim. That’s because they initially observed no physical signs of distress in her when she was apprehended at the house. Even the beaded bracelet she was wearing showed no signs of being torn off during the alleged violent confrontation with Hoffman. Additionally, the 911 call raised doubts, as a person supposedly making threats and being an imminent danger, as she claimed, would unlikely take the time to make a 911 call.

The police uncovered additional evidence that contradicted Layne’s narrative. Notably, they found blood inside the magazine of the gun, indicating that once the bullets were depleted, she had the opportunity to remove the magazine and reload it, suggesting she was not in immediate danger. However, the most damning evidence against her came from the nature of the bullet wounds. The forensic report revealed that the bullets were fired from varying distances. Coupled with the discovery of blood on all floors of the house, including the basement, officials surmised Hoffman was being pursued while he was being shot.

Testimonies from other individuals played a crucial role in constructing a case against Layne too. Sandra’s husband, Fred Layne, when questioned about his whereabouts, revealed that his wife had instructed him to run errands an hour before the incident. Significantly, he claimed to not know about her purchase of a gun, strengthening the police’s suspicion of clear, premeditated murder. Additionally, Layne’s daughter and Hoffman’s mother, Jennifer Hoffman, informed the police that her mother had a history of physical abuse and had often displayed violent tendencies during the former’s childhood.

Sandra Layne is in Prison Today

Sandra Layne was charged with open murder, which is a legal term in Michigan that encompasses both first-degree murder and second-degree murder. Open murder charges allow the jury to determine the appropriate degree of murder based on the evidence presented during the trial. Her trial commenced on March 13, lasting a lengthy period due to the conflicting character portrayals presented by the defense and prosecution. The prosecution depicted Layne as a cold and calculating woman who intentionally killed her grandson, while the defense portrayed her as a frightened and helpless elderly grandmother acting in self-defense.

Layne, at the age of 75, was deemed guilty of second-degree murder by the jury. Additionally, she faced a conviction for possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Her sentencing included a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 40 years for the second-degree murder charge, coupled with a mandatory two-year sentence for using a gun in the commission of the crime. Currently 86 years old, she is serving her sentence at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Michigan. Her earliest eligibility for release is set for 2034.

Read More: Monique Baugh Murder: Where Are Lyndon Wiggins, Cedric Berry, and Berry Davis Now?