LARGO — Three years after Shannon Griffin was shot, killed and left for dead in the dark, a jury has been selected for one of the people accused in his murder.
Opening statements are scheduled for this morning in the case against Jennifer Mee, the 22-year-old woman known as "Hiccup Girl."
Mee became widely known after a video of her incessant hiccuping went viral in 2007 when she was 15. She appeared on the Today show and was featured in other nationwide media outlets after she hiccuped continuously for five weeks.
The widespread publicity surrounding Mee presented a challenge for attorneys on both sides because they must select jurors who will base their verdict on the evidence presented in court and not on impressions they may have formed while watching and reading media accounts.
Out of the 70 potential jurors, about 30 on Tuesday said they were familiar with "Hiccup Girl" because of media coverage. Of those, half a dozen were sent home because they had formed opinions and didn't think they could be impartial in the case.
Mee started crying in court when some of the jurors explained what they remembered about Hiccup Girl.
In another development, Mee's attorney, John Trevena, said in a brief interview that he had recently learned that his client had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
He said he intended to bring this up during his opening statement.
Trevena had previously said Mee also had been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.
Authorities have said Mee lured Griffin, 22, to a spot in the 500 block of Seventh Street N ostensibly to sell him marijuana but really as part of a plan with two men to rob him.
One man, Laron Cordale Raiford, 23, has been convicted of murder in the case and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Another, Lamont Antonio Newton, 25, is awaiting trial.