The Michigan grandmother accused by prosecutors of shooting and killing her 17-year-old grandson took the stand in her murder trial on March 13 to testify that she acted in self-defense. She told the jury that she dearly loved her troubled grandson but that she feared for her safety because of his behavior the day of the shooting.
We previously discussed this case for our Lansing readers in our March 7 blog post. Both prosecutors and the defense agree that the defendant fatally shot her grandson, who was living with the defendant and her husband, on May 18, 2012. Prosecutors claim that the woman acted in cold blood as she followed her wounded grandson around her condominium, shooting him multiple times.
But the defense has argued that the grandson had used synthetic marijuana the day of the incident and was frightening his grandmother, who is a small woman, and caused her to fear for her life. She spoke softly and occasionally wiped her eyes as she testified.
Prior to the defense's case, prosecutors showed evidence that the grandson moved to multiple rooms after being shot and that the grandmother followed him to shoot him again. But on cross-examination, a Michigan State Police expert admitted that he could not rule out a struggle between the grandmother and grandson during the incident.
Synthetic marijuana is a controlled substance that can cause hallucinations and mood swings in users. It appears that the defense is suggesting that the grandson was affected by synthetic marijuana and threatening his grandmother, forcing her to defend herself.
Source: CBS News, "Sandra Layne Case: Mich. grandmother who fatally shot grandson testifies she feared for her life," March 13, 2013
· For more information about violent criminal charges in Michigan, please visit our Michigan murder defense page.