Parents: Grandma 'monster,' slain son 'vindicated'

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 20, 2013 at 6:23 am •  Published: March 20, 2013
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Defense attorney Jerome Sabbota said Layne was "devastated" by the verdict and is sorrowful over her grandson's death.

"She punishes herself every day," he said. "The legal system does what the legal system does. The jury felt that it wasn't appropriate self-defense."

Layne testified last week for about five hours, portraying herself as a big-hearted grandma who felt overwhelmed when Jonathan Hoffman was briefly hospitalized for drug use a year ago. She said he was loud, coarse and argumentative in subsequent weeks and, on the day of the shooting, had tested positive for so-called synthetic marijuana, which could have triggered a probation violation.

Layne said Hoffman demanded $2,000 and a car to flee Michigan. She claimed he kicked her and struck her in the face before she shot him.

But prosecutor Paul Walton noted that she never told police she had been attacked when she immediately confessed to the killing. A hospital nurse who examined her after her arrest said Layne had no injuries and had spoken lovingly about Hoffman.

And there was also an extraordinary piece of evidence: Hoffman's own plea for help recorded during a desperate call to 911.

"My grandma shot me. I'm going to die. Help. I got shot again," he told the dispatcher as he gasped for air.

Jurors declined to comment following the verdict. But they told attorneys during a private meeting that the call was crucial to their decision. It revealed that Layne had left Hoffman bleeding but then returned with more gunfire.

"They said they played it over and over and over again" in the jury room, prosecutor Paul Walton said.

Sabbota agreed that jurors found the "911 call was critical."

Michael Hoffman said his son, clad only in socks and athletic shorts when he was shot, showed "amazing courage" in his final moments of life.

Without the 911 call, the father said, "we could have had a very different result" at trial.

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AP reporter Mike Householder contributed to this report.

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Follow Ed White at www.twitter.com/edwhiteap

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