Hiccup Girl Charged with Murder

Liz De La Torre

Forget the alcohol; blame it on the Tourettes. At any rate, that is what attorney John Trevena is saying in defense of his client, 19 year-old Jennifer Mee, who has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in Florida. Mee, who came into the national spotlight for a series of hiccups that lasted five weeks in 2007, drew 22 year-old Shannon Griffin to a vacant house, where he was robbed and killed on Oct. 23.

“Absolutely, my daughter’s Tourettes would have played a role here,” Mee’s mother, Rachel Robidoux stated on RadarOnline.com. As per Trevena, hiccups are a symptom of Tourettes Syndrome, a disorder that sets off compulsive actions and speech difficulties, and therefore, a sound case for Mee whose mother characterizes as having the “mentality of a 12 or 13 year-old.” Furthermore, Mee’s family has insisted that she was still plagued with hiccups for weeks at a time even after her bout a few years back.

Hailed “Hiccup Girl,” Mee developed hiccups that came 50 times a minute, bringing her to miss school and seek out remedies of all kinds to no avail. Though described as naïve but gentle, it was no secret that Mee had been experiencing trouble since her hiccupping phase catapulted her to headlines, according to friends and family. Former guardian Kelly Cook said, “I don’t think she was necessarily faking. [And] I don’t know if she kept it going on for the attention, but I know that was the way she was coping with the issues she had.”

As maintained by St. Petersburg Police, Shannon Griffin met Jennifer Mee through a social networking site called MocoSpace, after he made a friend request. A meeting was later planned between the two. When Griffin arrived at the house, Mee directed him to Raiford and Newton, who robbed him at gunpoint, taking several items and $50. Griffin was shot four times during a struggle that erupted and subsequently died.

Despite the fact that Mee didn’t have a past criminal record, the police hold documentation of nearly a dozen communications with her over the last year. Many of these exchanges dealt with her boyfriend mistreating her. Although she is believed not to have fired the gun, Mee has still been indicted on the same first-degree murder charges as Laron Raiford, 20, and Lamont Newton, 22, Mee’s boyfriend for her role as an accessory to a robbery resulting in death under Florida law. Because of her high profile inmate status, Mee is currently being held at the Pinellas County Jail without bond in a protective wing. If convicted, she may face life imprisonment.