Sandra LayneSandra Layne, the 75-year-old grandma who is currently on trial for shooting and killing her 17-year-old grandson, Jonathan Hoffman, took the witness stand yesterday. Although it's hard not to feel sorry for a weeping, white-haired woman who "feared her life", some interesting questions were raised that make it seem like this tragic situation could have been avoided altogether.
Quick backstory for those who don't know: Layne is being charged with fatally shooting her grandson last May. Hoffman, a teen with a drug problem and who attended an alternative high school, was sent to live with his grandparents after his parents divorced. According to Layne, Hoffman was a troubled boy who couldn't control his temper, destroyed computer equipment, and kicked doors and the car dashboard. Layne says she purchased a gun a month before the killing because she was scared of Hoffman's friends. She said in court that she was "desperate and didn't know what to do."
Here's the thing, though: Layne fired 10 shots, striking Hoffman six times, even as he was on the phone begging a 911 operator for help. The shots supposedly came after Hoffman kicked Layne and struck her in the head. That said, though, that's a lot of bullets.
During questioning, assistant prosecutor Kelli Megyesi raised an interesting point, saying: "Instead of sending Jonathan home and telling his parents to pick him up or calling his Aunt Judy, the option you choose is to buy a gun."
This is a tough case. On one hand, it sounds like Layne was in WAY over her head in caring for her out-of-control grandson, and maybe her life was in fact in danger. But on the other, why didn't she say something earlier? Why didn't she send her grandson off elsewhere before bringing a gun into the situation? This could have possibly been avoided.
Layne faces mandatory life in prison without parole if she is convicted of first-degree murder.
What do you think of this?
Image via Splash