Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Widget not loading? Try using this link instead. Scroll down for our latest story on jury selection for Jennifer Mee's murder trial.

Jury picked for 'Hiccup Girl' Jennifer Mee's murder trial

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.

On Twitter

Times reporter Curtis Krueger tweeted from jury selection Tuesday. Here are highlights :

• Jennifer Mee's lead defense attorney is John Trevena. With help from attorneys Bryant Camareno and Jesse James.

• The prosecutors are Jan Olney and Christopher LaBruzzo. They won a murder conviction last month against a Mee codefendant. #hiccupgirl

• Judge hopes to finish the trial on Friday. But it could go as late as next Tues-Wed, she says. #hiccupgirl

• Question to jurors: Have you ever been charged with crime? Answers: shoplifting, carrying concealed firearm, child abuse, more. #hiccupgirl

• Sad fact: in this group of about 60? remaining potential jurors, 3 say they know someone who was murdered. So far

• Make that 4

• "Miss Mee has also been known as the "Hiccup Girl" says Judge Ley. She asks potential jurors how many read-heard about her... #hiccupgirl

She counts 31 who raise their hands. So each will be interviewed individually now in court. #hiccupgirl

• Jennifer Mee makes a sad face looks on verge of tears. It seems to get worse as people describe what they know about #hiccupgirl

• One man says he and co-workers used to joke about Hiccup Girl and razz a co-worker who also hiccuped. No one objects when he is sent home.

• Defense attorney Camareno: just being at crime scene is not a crime. You have to have knowledge and intent to commit the crime.

#hiccupgirl

• That could be the defense right there. #hiccupgirl

• Camareno: "Were you the victim of a crime?" Potential juror: "I'm from Miami, everyone's the victim of a crime." Even Mee laughs at that 1.

Jury picked for 'Hiccup Girl' Jennifer Mee's murder trial 09/16/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 8:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 21 USF Bulls roll over Temple to stay undefeated

    College

    TAMPA — They emerged from Raymond James Stadium's southwest tunnel on the 11-month anniversary of their public humilation at Temple.

    Bulls tailback Darius Tice, who rushes for 117 yards, is elated by his 47-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.
  2. Fennelly: USF thrashes Temple to stay unbeaten; too bad not many saw it in person

    College

    No. 21 USF ran its record to 4-0 Thursday night with some payback against Temple, a 43-7 trouncing, no contest, as if anyone cares, at least judging by the paltry announced crowd of 24,325 at Raymond James Stadium.

    Where was everybody?

    Bulls cornerback Deatrick Nichols (3) celebrates with teammates after making a defensive play during the first half.
  3. Former Ray Tim Beckham's over being traded, or is he?

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — As the Rays reunited Thursday with Tim Beckham for the first time since he was dealt July 31 to Baltimore, it became very clear that not everything in assessing the trade is as it appears.

    Tim Beckham, here in action Monday against the Red Sox, has hit .310, with 10 homers and 26 RBIs since going to the Orioles.
  4. Bucs probe how to fix deep-ball chances missed vs. Bears

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It was only minutes after the Bucs had demolished the Bears 29-7 Sunday when quarterback Jameis Winston tried one final time to connect with receiver DeSean Jackson.

    QB Jameis Winston says he’s focused on the deep-ball chances to DeSean Jackson he missed in the opener: “We left a lot out there.”
  5. Rays journal: Ugly first inning dooms Andriese, Rays against Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Thursday's game that RHP Matt Andriese was among the pitchers who would most benefit from a strong finish to the season.

    Matt Andriese has a tough first: hits to four of first five batters, leading to three runs, the only ones he gives up in six innings