Sandra Layne. Courtesy West Bloomfield Police.
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - For 3 minutes, 17-year-old Jonathan Hoffman pleaded for help.
He told a 911 dispatcher that his grandmother had shot him in the chest and he was about to die.
Then, he screamed out, saying he'd been shot again.
As officers arrived Friday at the condo in West Bloomfield, Mich., they heard several more gunshots, Detective Brad Boulet testified Monday in 48th District Court in here.
Hoffman's grandmother, Sandra Layne, 74, came to the front door with a .40-caliber Glock handgun in her right hand.
"While walking toward the officers, Ms. Layne exclaimed that she had just murdered her grandson," Boulet said.
She was arraigned Monday on an open murder charge.
The former schoolteacher, mother of five and grandmother of nine looked down in court as the detective described finding Jonathan unresponsive upstairs with eight bullet entrance and exit wounds. The Farmington Central High School senior later died at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich., with two bullets still left in his body, according to the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office.
Boulet also described the 911 call: "The subject stated that his gramma had just shot him in the chest and that he was going to die and he pleaded for help. At approximately the 3-minute mark of the 911 call, the subject screamed and exclaimed he had just been shot again."
Judge Marc Barron ordered Layne, the victim's maternal grandmother, held without bond. Her husband and other family members came to the hearing Monday but declined to comment afterward.
As his family prepares to bury the fun-loving, friendly boy who could build a computer from scratch, they are still in shock, said his aunt, Judy Metzger, 52, of Farmington Hills.
"He was murdered in cold blood. He was executed," she told the Free Press from her home Monday afternoon. "It's senseless."
Metzger, sister of Hoffman's father, said the teen had just been accepted to Eastern Michigan University after convincing his parents to let him stay in Michigan to finish his senior year when they moved to Arizona.
"He said, 'I'll be with Gramma. I'll be fine. Don't worry about me, I'm with Gramma,' " Metzger said.
His mother, Jennifer Hoffman, traveled back to the area monthly to spend time with her son and talked to her mother daily, Metzger said.
Neither Jennifer Hoffman nor Jonathan's father, prominent lawyer Michael Hoffman, realized there might be issues, Metzger said. Michael Hoffman is co-founder of the Southfield, Mich.,-based law firm ADAM - American Divorce Association for Men.
"Obviously if they did, he wouldn't be in that environment," Metzger said. "We obviously don't know what (prompted) this woman, who purchased the gun 30 days ahead of time - a shoot-to-kill weapon. Obviously, the issue lies with her mental facilities. He was just a kid being a kid. Applying and getting summer jobs. He was just getting ready to go to the movies. Of course, we don't understand."
Jonathan Hoffman was living with his grandparents at Maple Place Villas, a secluded condo community with a security guard and gates. In March, police responded to a call at the condo, which authorities described as an argument between Hoffman and Layne that didn't require further police action.
Despite that, Metzger said Hoffman and his grandmother seemed to get along, which makes the shooting so hard to understand.
"She loved her grandchildren," Metzger said. "They were close when he was a child."
Assistant Prosecutor Jason Pernick said there's a question of whether Layne is competent to stand trial. He did not offer specifics.
Her lawyer, Mitch Ribitwer, said she worked as a teacher in California before moving to West Bloomfield 30 years ago. He said she has been married for 28 years.
Ribitwer declined to comment when asked what led to the shooting. Ribitwer's law partner, Jerome Sabbota, said Saturday that Layne fired the gun because "she was afraid."
"She's never been in trouble before," Ribitwer said outside the courtroom. "(She's) very distraught, very upset. It's a very difficult time."
Aside from her initial exclamations outside her home Friday, Layne has not talked to investigators about the death of her grandson, West Bloomfield Police Lt. Tim Diamond said Monday. She did not explain to investigators what made her afraid, Diamond said.
Metzger said her nephew was well-liked, funny and a computer genius whom others in the family called for help.
"He'd build them, order the parts and put them together," she said. "Ever since he was a little boy, he would talk in computer talk. He's the one the family would call at 10 years old to come fix our viruses."
Jonathan's funeral was set for 11 a.m. Tuesday in Southfield, Mich.
Layne is next scheduled to appear Thursday for a preliminary hearing. If convicted,, she faces up to life in prison.