"I'm going to die. Help," Jonathan Hoffman groaned to police dispatchers from his grandparents' West Bloomfield home on May 18 before Sandra Layne pumped the fatal bullet into his stomach, prosecutors said.
Layne sat quietly in the Oakland County courtroom on Tuesday as assistant prosecutor Paul Walton in his opening statements painted her as a cold-blooded killer who found the wounded boy on the phone and fired a final shot to finish him off.
She told the cops, "I murdered my grandson," Walton said.
Layne has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the death of Hoffman, a troubled teen who moved in with his grandparents while his parents were divorcing. They lived in Arizona at the time of the shooting.
Autopsy results showed he was shot at least five times during the altercation last spring, including three times in the chest, once in the arm and once in the stomach. Layne's lawyers argued that she shot the teen in self-defense after he attacked her in anger fueled by a court-ordered drug test he failed earlier in the day.
"Sandra Layne is not a murderer," defense attorney Jerome Sabbota told jurors. Sabbota said Hoffman had been smoking synthetic marijuana, known as Spice. His autopsy showed traces of it in his system.
Layne had driven her grandson to the drug testing earlier in the day, which was required because of a previous marijuana conviction.
Later that day, the teen became violent and the two began arguing, Sobbota told jurors. Hoffman went after his grandma and kicked her in the chest, Sobbota said, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Layne fired several rounds before hiding in the basement, Sobbota said. When she came to check on him, he attacked her again, Sobbota said, according to the newspaper. "She was afraid. She felt she had no choice," Sobbota said. "Why else would she shoot him? This is a tragic case."
Officers had been called to the home at least once before, about two months earlier.
In a 911 call Sabbota played for played for jurors, Layne told dispatchers her grandson was yelling and out of control. While on the phone, she could be heard telling Layne, "I love you and I want to see you get some help," according to the Free Press.