‘Hiccup girl’ denied bail on murder charge

November 8th, 2010 by Staff

TAMPA – Jennifer Mee, known internationally as “the hiccup girl,” lost her bid Friday for a lower bond on a charge of first-degree murder.

St. Petersburg police say Mee, 19, lured Shannon Griffin, 22, to a dark alley Oct. 23 so two of her roommates could rob him. Police say Griffin died from four gunshot wounds when he resisted the robbers.

In a Pinellas courtroom Friday, Mee stood quietly trembling in jailhouse blues before Circuit Judge Donald Horrox while the judge recited a number of legal reasons why he would not set bond.

Horrox called Mee’s litany of personal troubles — including Tourette’s syndrome, diminished mental capacity and immaturity — “a double-edged sword” that “might make it more likely she’d attempt to flee” if released on bond.

Defense attorney John Trevena said the release of inmates charged with first-degree murder is relatively rare.

“It certainly wasn’t a surprise,” Trevena said. “But it was worth taking a shot.”

Trevena said he plans to have Mee undergo psychiatric tests to determine her mental capacity and maturity level and to find out whether her Tourette’s syndrome contributed to her participation in the robbery.

Police say that Mee admitted to luring Griffin to let her accomplices rob him, but Trevena said she did not know there would be gunplay.

He said first-degree felony murder may be the wrong charge for Mee. It is meant for suspects who commit a crime that ends in murder even when the suspect is not the triggerman.

“She was starting to leave when the gun came out,” Trevena said.

Mee’s grandfather, Robert McCauley, attended the hearing and said afterward that things have been deteriorating for his granddaughter.

“After her notoriety for her bout with the hiccups back in 2007, everything just went down hill after that,” McCauley said.

As she prepared to head to court Friday, Mee’s mother, Rachel Robidoux, offered a message to the victim’s family.

“I am sorry this happened,” Robidoux said in a phone interview. “This never should have happened.”

Robidoux blamed social networking sites such as MocoSpace.

“Taking down the social network sites that all these kids were on” would prevent such crimes, Robidoux said.

“In my opinion, these sites were used as a tool.”

The victim’s cousin, Doug Bolden, who testified at Mee’s previous bond hearing, expressed relief after the hearing Friday that Mee was not allowed to post bond and get out of jail.

“We’re happy,” Bolden said. “It’s going to be a long journey but we made it to the first step.”

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