Jennifer Mee, also known as the “Hiccup Girl” because she suffered from that ailment for weeks at a time during her teenage years, was found guilty of fist degree murder on Friday after a jury mulled her case over for about four hours.
Mee gained notoriety in 2007 because of her extended bouts with the hiccups. She is now making headlines again; but because of a much more nefarious reason: She has been found guilty for her part in the murder of Shannon Griffin in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2010. Although she has not been formally sentenced yet, the judge in the case did explain after the verdict that the only applicable punishment is life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The trial has not been without its share of hitches, including a last-minute mental evaluation after her defense attorney found out that Mee has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Mee also suffers from Tourette’s syndrome, and the doctor that assessed her found her to have a low intelligence level (no ish); but also told Judge Nancy Moate Ley that Mee was competent to stand trial.
As the “Hiccup Girl” Jennifer Mee was invited to several television shows, including The Today Show. The spectacle that she was the ringleader of; however, had much lower production values. According to what Mee said during her interrogation by police, she met Griffin online through MocoSpace.com (seriously, what better warning to not use weak sauce dating sites?) and arranged a date with him prior to which he was supposed to do a marijuana buy. Using this ruse she lured him to the back of an abandoned house, where Laron Raiford and Lamont Newton, two of Mee’s roommates, robbed Griffin at gunpoint. What the thugs were not anticipating was for Griffin to fight back, which he did. As a result of this, Griffin was shot four times with a .38 special revolver, and died from his wounds.
Even though the “Hiccup Girl” did not have any physical part in the killing of Griffin, Florida law stipulates that any accomplice to a robbery that results in a murder is as guilty of murder as the trigger man. At this point it bears mentioning that Raiford has already been tried, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, so the prosecutors must be feeling very confident right about now. In fact they described Mee herself as their star witness. By the way, Raiford was offered 40 years with the possibility of parole after 25, with credit for time served. He rejected that deal, and as a consequence, unless he manages to somehow escape, he will not see the outside of a prison again. I do not know how much money Griffin was carrying with him for his supposed pot buy, and his subsequent date with Mee; but he was a Walmart employee, and his means of transportation was a scooter. It would be shocking if the robbers got more than $100 off him.
The case also has more than its share of bizarre facts. At the crime scene Griffin’s body was found with his pants down, and a condom wrapper with Raiford’s DNA was also found at that location.
Mee’s own attorney, John Travena, has said that the prosecutors’ characterization of her as a mastermind is wrong. I agree, to paraphrase Benicio del Toro in “The Way of the Gun” this was not exactly a criminal mastermind kind of operation. There is no way any of these hoodlums have ever been confused with rocket scientists. The suspects were found with incriminating evidence (victim’s wallet and keys, murder weapon with incriminating DNA) at their residence, with Mee’s fingerprints on Griffin’s driver’s license. Seriously, why would anybody steal the driver’s license of a person they just killed?
Travena himself does not appear to be very bright either, he put on the stand Jennifer Charron, the only roommate of Mee’s that was not implicated in the crime, and Charron did not cover for any of them even though she was the girlfriend of Raiford . At this point it is worth mentioning that Newton was Mee’s boyfriend. Newton has yet to stand trial.
From Mee’s testimony it appears that Charron’s picture was the likeness that Mee used as bait to lure Griffin. I would be pretty mad at my friends too if they used me as the poster boy in their murder plot, and Charron did wise up, apparently.
I would date this girl too, if I did not first see this other picture of her:
And especially if I didn’t know that Mee was the one publishing the pictures under false pretenses, and I’m actually going on a date with THIS other girl:
Charron is no angel, either, she has been arrested before for selling marijuana; but I suppose she learned her lesson, and is not going to be left holding the bag for a murder rap. Everything she testified to confirms the prosecution’s version of events.
Now let us explore why the prosecution called Mee their star witness. After she was arrested, she called her mother. Mee then proceeded to tell her mother, in a recorded (no ish) telephone conversation that her arrest was for murder, and when her mother asked why she was being charged for that, Mee answered “Because I set everything up[…]Laron pulled a gun out on him … and the guy pulled the barrel. It wasn’t supposed to happen like that.”
With “Hiccup Girl” being found guilty, the prosecution is two for two, let us hope they do not even offer the last murderer left a deal, so we do not as a society have to worry about these evil genius wannabes.
By Milton Ruiz