Sandra Layne in her booking mugshot from May 2012. / Bloomfield Township Police Department via AP
PONTIAC, Mich. - Jurors had four questions for a Michigan grandmother Thursday, the second day she took the stand in her own defense to talk about fatally shooting her 17-year-old grandson.
In six hours of testimony over two days, Sandra Layne, 75, told jurors she loved her grandson but had grown increasingly fearful of him in the months leading up to his death.
Jurors in Layne's murder trial in Oakland County Circuit Court wanted to know whether she was on any medication May 18 last year, the day she shot and killed Jonathan Hoffman, 17, in her West Bloomfield, Mich., condo. Layne said she was taking medication for diabetes and a thyroid condition, as well as a vitamin.
Another juror questioned why she didn't call 911 when she hid in the basement after twice shooting Hoffman.
"I had to hide. I was terrified," she said. "I wanted to find someplace in the basement so he couldn't find me, and that's what I'm thinking. Somebody else would have done something else."
Another juror questioned why Layne thought getting the gun from her bedroom and confronting Hoffman in the upstairs loft where he was living would calm him down. She earlier said she had retrieved the gun to get Hoffman to listen to her when he was trying to leave.
"There are so many of us in this room, and each one of us you would reacted differently," she said, beginning to cry. "You don't know how you would react in a situation. It's impossible. I just, what I thought, I don't know why. I didn't know what else to do. It's just what I did."
The final question centered on how shots came to be fired in the master bedroom and kitchen along with Jonathan's blood being found there.
"Were you chasing him or was he chasing you?" the juror asked.
She said: "I was trying to get away from him. I was being chased. I don't know how. It's terrible, but I don't remember being in those rooms, exactly what happened. I don't know."
Layne is charged with open murder and faces up to life in prison without parole if convicted. On the day she killed Hoffman, Layne said he was in a rage, kicking her in the chest and striking her in the head.
Her testimony wrapped up Thursday, and closing statements are scheduled for Monday.
Prosecutors contend Layne - weary of a grandson who was doing poorly in school, using drugs and acting out - bought a handgun in April and shot him to death a month later. Hoffman was living with Layne and her husband because his parents, who were divorcing, had moved to Arizona, and he wanted to finish up his senior year in Michigan.
Layne, who has worn the same yellow sweater every day of her trial, is a former teacher, mother of five and a grandmother of nine, including Hoffman and his younger sister, Jessica.
Jonathan Hoffman's parents, Jennifer and Michael Hoffman, were in the courtroom Thursday for the first time during the trial. They had been sequestered as prosecution witnesses but didn't get called to testify.
Hoffman's parents left separately and declined to talk to reporters.
VIDEO: Prosecutor cross-examines grandmother
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