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Mar 142013


Sandra Layne age 75, is being charged with shooting her 17 year old grandson, a “troubled teen” who she says she feared.

Sandra had taken her “favorite grandson” Jonathan Hoffman, into her home as his parents were divorcing. He was apparently using various drugs, including the “synthetic marijuana” which seems to be making the rounds of teenagers now, and is banned in most states.

The National Institute on Drug abuse web site says that

Spice abusers who have been taken to Poison Control Centers report symptoms that include rapid heart rate, vomiting, agitation, confusion, and hallucinations. Spice can also raise blood pressure and cause reduced blood supply to the heart (myocardial ischemia), and in a few cases it has been associated with heart attacks. Regular users may experience withdrawal and addiction symptoms.

In several news stories I have read recently “spice” has been associated with violent behavior.

There is no way to know at this point what the outcome of the prosecution of Sandra Layne will be, it is also possible, given her age, that she may herself be suffering from early dementia or other cognitive impairment. I don’t doubt that she was terrified, but the fact that she continued to shoot at Jonathan while he was talking to the 911 operator makes me think that this poor woman’s higher cognitive functioning may have been impaired.

Whatever the outcome of this tragic situation, I can empathize with this woman’s plight in trying to stop her grandson from using drugs and running with a dangerous crowd of friends. I can empathize with her fear of her grandson if he struck at her, though, I imagine (but don’t know) that her reaction to get a gun and scare him was not the best choice she could have made. The situation is a nightmare for everyone concerned, regardless of the legal outcome, and this family is traumatized for the rest of their lives. God bless and comfort them.

Update: Sandra Layne sentenced to 20+ years


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  3 Responses to “Nightmare in the news: Sandra Layne trial Grandmother kills grandson

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2296003/Sandra-Layne-trial-Grandmother-75-convicted-second-degree-murder-fatal-shooting-teenage-grandson.html?ICO=most_read_module

    Sandra Layne was convicted of second degree murder and will serve 14 years, essentially a life sentence for her crime. Her 87 year old husband wept and her daughter called her a monster. So many lives destroyed.

  2. Another equally sad situation. It’s inexplicable that someone who had never been violent before, would suddenly go RAMBO on her own young grandson. How does that happen?

  3. Michelle, my guess, and guess is all it is, is that the woman was somewhat in the early stages of dementia. Her behavior on the stand, her “reasons” for getting the gun to scare him, the fact that she was so very upset about him not cooperating (and face it, the consequences he was facing were pretty mild by today’s standards) and then her continuing to shoot after he was wounded and on the phone with 911 says to me she was in that early stages of dementia where she has lost her judgment. She isn’t, I don’t think legally “certifiable” because she still knows the month, the year, can tell time and who the president is, so she is legally “sane” and responsible for her actions, but if I were her attorney I would see about getting a “diminished capacity” appeal filed. I would have thought a competent attorney would have done so at trial.
    The early loss of judgment and inability to tell obvious lies and falsehoods from truth is why the elderly are so easy for con men to prey upon.

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