Detroit Free Press
A sometimes sobbing West Bloomfield grandmother told a packed courtroom she was sorry she had shot her teenage grandson to death, begging the judge not to give her a long prison sentence. “I don’t want to die in jail or prison,” 75-year-old Sandra Layne cried Thursday in Oakland County Circuit Court. “Oh, God! Oh, God! I don’t know what to say. I am so sorry.”
Sandra Layne, 75, listens to Oakland County Circuit Judge Denis Langford Morris during her sentencing today. / Ryan Garza/Detroit Free Press
But Judge Denise Langford Morris exceeded sentencing guidelines and ordered Layne, who had no criminal history, to spend 20-40 years in prison. She was convicted of second-degree murder last month for fatally shooting her grandson Jonathan Hoffman, 17, in Layne’s West Bloomfield condominium on May 18. Guidelines called for 12-20 years in prison.
The sentencing brought to a close a case that shocked metro Detroit, garnered national attention and tore apart a family already teetering on the edge. “This is a tragic case for everyone involved,”
Langford Morris said before announcing the sentence. “This is a tragedy for the community. Grandmothers are supposed to be protected, and grandmothers are supposed to protect.” As the sentence was read, Layne turned to look at her daughter Jennifer Hoffman, Jonathan’s mother. Hoffman, who called her mother “pure evil,” smiled broadly and gave her mother a thumbs-up sign.
I guess the judge didn't believe her that she acted out of fear for herself.
What do you think?