West Bloomfield Township grandmother accused of killing grandson faces judge and family

The judge refused to offer bond to Sandra Layne

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) - The West Bloomfield Township grandmother charged with shooting and killing her grandson appeared in 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills Thursday morning for a preliminary hearing. 

Sandra Layne faced not only a judge, but her family.   They refused to talk about their feelings about her actions with media, but waved at her and mouthed apparent words of support as she entered the courtroom.

Some could be heard saying, "Poor Sandra," as the 74-year-old was lead into the courtroom in handcuffs.

"Her family has been standing behind her since the beginning," said her defense attorney Jerome Sabbota.

Sabbota says details of what happened before the shooting will be revealed in court, but that his client cared for her grandson. 

Police say she shot Jonathan Hoffman numerous times in her home on Friday.  He had been staying with her since shortly after his parents moved out of state. 

He said she had been worried about him because he had been in trouble in school and with the law due to a drug problem.  Sabbota says Layne never wanted anything like this to happen.

"She had nothing to gain from this," said Sabbota.  "What would make a grandmother kill her grandson? Fear."

During the hearing Attorney Sabbota waived his client's right to a preliminary exam within 14 days.  The preliminary exam is when investigators present evidence collected to the court and it is decided whether there is enough for a trial.  He said he would like more time to review the evidence.

The judge scheduled the preliminary exam for July 2 nd.

The prosecution asked the judge to call for a competency exam, to determine whether Layne is psychologically fit for trial.  The judge responded by saying that this is something the defense usually asks for, not the prosecution.  Layne's defense attorney said it was unnecessary because his client is competent.  The judge asked both sides to submit motions for and against this.

The judge refused to offer bond.  This means Layne will remain in jail at least until the preliminary exam in July.

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