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.

'Hiccup Girl' to mom from jail: 'I set everything up'

LARGO — After "Hiccup Girl" Jennifer Mee was arrested in October 2010, she called her mother and tried to explain what had just happened.

"Why are you in jail?" Rachel Robidoux asked.

"Murder in the first degree," Mee said in a flat, emotionless tone.

"Who did you kill?"

"I ain't killed nobody," Mee said.

So her mother asked why she was being charged.

"Because I set everything up," Mee explained, her voice rising, as if she were about to cry. "It all went wrong, Mom. It just went downhill …"

"Who'd you try to kill, Jennifer?"

"Nobody. It wasn't even supposed to happen like that, Mom …"

That jail call was recorded and, on Thursday, replayed in court. Four words from Mee — "I set everything up" — form the crux of the state's murder case against her.

No one says she fired the .38-special that killed 22-year-old Shannon Griffin, but that doesn't get her off the hook. Under Florida law, someone who participates in a robbery that leads to a death can be convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

That's why prosecutors Christopher LaBruzzo and Jan Olney presented the recording to jurors, and it's why a day earlier LaBruzzo began his opening statement by saying: "She set everything up."

Mee, now 22, gained national attention at 15 when she had a case of the hiccups that lasted for weeks. Her hiccups have generally stayed under control recently, but she did briefly start hiccupping in court on Thursday. The judge suggested someone give her a cup of water, and that did the trick.

She was arrested in 2010 and accused of using a social networking site to lure Griffin to a spot on Seventh Street so two male roommates of Mee's could rob him. Instead, he was shot and killed.

Defense attorney John Trevena tried to keep the jury from hearing the recorded jail call Thursday, but Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Nancy Moate Ley denied his request.

Detectives and crime-scene experts testified Thursday, but some of the most compelling evidence came from Mee's own voice through three recordings.

In one interview, former St. Petersburg Detective Gary Gibson interviewed Mee before she was considered a suspect. She told him that one of her roommates shot Griffin because of a love triangle. But Mee then said the whole episode was supposed to be a robbery, which contradicted her first story.

Later, Mee admitted to Detective David Wawrzynski that she arranged the meeting with Griffin so he could be robbed.

Trevena cross-examined Wawrzynski about numerous other possible explanations, including whether there was a sexual aspect to the crime (Griffin was eventually found with his pants pulled down). Trevena asked the detective about the condom wrapper found at the scene — which contained DNA from one of Mee's roommates — and whether it seemed unusual that in a robbery in which no one was supposed to be killed, there were at least five bullets fired at Griffin, four of which hit him.

Wawrzynski said "there could have been several different scenarios" when first investigating, but that many different pieces of evidence — including Mee's statements — led to the criminal charge against her.

All witnesses who have testified in this week's trial so far are doing so on behalf of the prosecution. Her defense team will have a chance to present its case today.

Curtis Krueger can be reached at ckrueger@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8232. On Twitter: @ckruegertimes.

'Hiccup Girl' to mom from jail: 'I set everything up' 09/19/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 19, 2013 11:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Unemployed with a pre-existing condition, Republican David Jolly came to see Obamacare as 'safety net'

    Blogs

    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  2. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store

    Accidents

    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

  3. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  4. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108