Murder of Jonathan Hoffman by grandmother Sandra Layne profiled on Kill or be Killed

Mugshot of Sandra Layne
Sandra Layne was convicted of killing her grandson. Pic credit: MI Dept. of Corrections

Kill or be Killed on Oxygen is examining the murder of teenager Jonathan Hoffman, who was gunned down by his elderly grandmother, Sandra Layne, at her home in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan.

On May 18, 2012, Layne fired ten shots at her 17-year-old grandson during an argument. He was hit six times and died a short time later.

Layne admitted that she had killed Jonathan but claimed it was self-defense. The pair had begun arguing because the grandson had failed a drug test earlier in the day.

Jonathan was convicted of marijuana possession a couple of months before his murder, and part of his probation was to submit to regular drug testing. By all accounts, Layne had become increasingly frustrated with her grandson’s ill behavior and continued drug use.

He had been sent to live with his grandparents because his parents were busy caring for a daughter with a brain tumor in Arizona. However, Layne struggled with her grand-parental responsibilities and had even asked Jonathan’s parents to take him home.

A month before the murder, Layne purchased a handgun and took lessons on how to use it. Her husband was unaware she had bought the firearm.

Sandra Layne opened fire on grandson Jonathan Hoffman during argument

On the day of the murder, Layne’s husband was out walking the dog when she and Jonathan began arguing. She later claimed that Jonathan was shouting and swearing at her and became increasingly aggressive. She said she had no choice but to defend herself and shoot him.

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However, the cops and the prosecution argued that Layne had made no attempt to flee the house and had shown no sign of injury, and she continued to shoot him multiple times, including twice in the back.

Jonathan even managed to call 911 as he was being shot. In the recording, shots can be heard ringing out as the teenager was overheard saying, “My grandma shot me. I’m going to die. Help. I got shot again.”

Sandra Layne convicted of killing Jonathan Hoffman

Eventually, a jury convicted Layne of second-degree murder, and she was sentenced to 20 to 40 years.

During the sentence, Judge Denise Langford Morris asked the killer, “Why did you keep shooting him, and how did you keep shooting him? You didn’t have to keep shooting him.” Layne only stressed that she had loved her grandson.

Jonathan’s mother, Jennifer Hoffman, called her own mother a “monster” and said she deserved to go to prison.

Kill or be Killed airs Saturday at 9/8c on Oxygen.

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