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Sandra Layne Guilty of 2nd-Degree Murder in Death of Grandson; Novi Police Officer Involved in Detroit Shooting

A roundup of crime from around the Hartland area.

Area Patch sites provided the following reports. In all incidents where an arrest occurred, a charge is merely an accusation and not evidence of guilt.

White Lake-Highland Patch

One of the two men facing armed robbery charges in connection with a jewelry store heist in downtown Rochester was coach of a high school girls' soccer team. 

Kevin Andrew Papuga, 22, of White Lake, was also an assistant coach in a regional youth soccer organization.

Papuga and Johnny Matthew Hall, 32, of Troy, were charged in connection with the Nov. 2 robbery of  police in Rochester announced this week. They say three men wearing hats, hoodies and sunglasses restrained a store employee with duct tape while robbing the store at gunpoint. 

A third unnamed man is "cooperating with police" in connection with the case; he faces charges in Macomb County on an unrelated narcotics charge, according to Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm. 

Papuga was a former coach of the junior varsity team at Milford High School in the Huron Valley School District.  

According to Huron Valley Communications & Community Relations Director Kim Root, Papuga has not been affiliated with the school in over a year. 

Root said that Papuga, who was never an official employee, was coaching as contracted staff until a full-time school employee took over the team. “He was never a Huron Valley school employee and even though he worked as a coach and obviously represented the school district, that hasn’t been the case for some time now,” Root said.  

Papuga is also listed on the roster of the coaching staff for Vardar Michigan, a regional youth soccer organization. A Vardar employee confirmed that Papuga was an assistant but said he was not on the organization's payroll and did not coach his own team.

Papuga turned himself in. He was arraigned March 4 in 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills on two counts of armed robbery; he posted bond and was released. 

Novi Patch

A Novi police officer was involved in the shooting of a suspect in Detroit Thursday morning that was part of a coordinated investigation.

According to a press release from the City of Novi, for the last several weeks, investigators from the Novi Police Department have been working on a joint investigation with the United States Secret Service regarding the fraudulent purchase of several thousands of dollars of auto parts from metro Detroit car dealerships.

At approximately 9 a.m. Thursday morning, investigators participated in a coordinated operation involving the delivery of auto parts to the suspects in the vicinity of Warren Road and Grandville Street in northwest Detroit. Once the transaction was completed, the officers announced their presence and intent to arrest.

One of the suspects surrendered immediately and was taken into custody. The second suspect entered his vehicle and attempted to run over a Novi Police Detective who was on an adjacent sidewalk abutting a building. In fear for his life, the detective discharged his duty weapon to stop the threat, the press release states. 

The suspect remained in the vehicle, fled the scene, and was pursued by assisting marked patrol units from the Michigan State Police. The suspect ultimately crashed his vehicle in the area of Piedmont Street and Plymouth Road. He then fled on foot and was apprehended by Michigan State Police Troopers.

The suspect was transported to an area hospital where he is being treated for gunshot wounds. No other injuries were reported during this incident.

The ongoing criminal investigation is being pursued by the Novi Police Department and the Secret Service. The officer involved shooting is being investigated by the Detroit Police Department.

Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch

Jurors have found West Bloomfield grandmother Sandra Layne guilty of second degree murder in the shooting death of her grandson.

Deliberation spanned eight hours over two days,according to the Detroit News, and Layne was found guilty of killing Farmington Central High School student Jonathan Hoffman, 17, and guilty of the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony Tuesday in Oakland County Circuit Court.

Read all of Ronelle's Trial Talk blogs from the courtroom on Patch.

Prosecutors said Layne was intent on killing her grandson, shooting him six times, according to the Detroit Free Press, while Layne told the jury she was afraid of Hoffman and killed him in self-defense.

The jury determined Layne, 75, shot and killed Hoffman last May in the West Bloomfield condominium they shared on Brookview Lane.

West Bloomfield Patch reported that Layne gave herself up to police at her front door, where officers later found a handgun with blood on it. Layne herself was found with blood on her hands and clothing.

According to testimony, Layne was hysterical, screaming that she had just shot and killed her grandson, even after being placed in a police car.

Sabbota said that on the day of the incident, Layne had been at odds with her grandson, who lived away from his parents in Arizona.

Plymouth-Canton Patch

Canton resident Robert Carl Kahler was sentenced to 30-60 years in court Wednesday for sexually assaulting a girl in his neighborhood when she was 9 years old, according to anarticle in the Observer & Eccentric.

Kahler, 57, was arraigned on the charges back in 2011 and found guilty by a Wayne County Circuit Court jury this February.

Kahler was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual conduct and 10-15 years in prison for second-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to the Observer & Eccentric.

“Our entire family is very grateful that this is all over and we finally got justice,” the victim’s mother said in an email to the Canton Observer.

 

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