South Florida Crime
ST. PETERSBURG (CBSMiami/AP) — In 2007, Jennifer Mee made national news because she could not stop hiccuping. She became known as the ‘hiccup girl’.
A few years later, Mee made headlines again, but this time for something much more sinister. She was charged with first-degree murder.
Now, her co-defendant charged in the 2010 killing of a St. Petersburg man has been sentenced to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder, Friday.
Laron Raiford, 23, was the first of the three suspects in the killing to stand trial.
Also charged in the case was Jennifer Mee, who at 15 garnered national media attention when she had an uncontrollable case of the hiccups in 2007. Five weeks later they stopped and by the time Mee was 19 she was charged with first-degree murder. Her trial was scheduled for a later date.
Police said Mee met a man online and lured him to a vacant home where Raiford and another friend robbed and shot him. Police do not believe Mee fired the gun, St. Petersburg Maj. Mike Kovacsev said at the time.
Mee’s attorney, John Trevena, has said she was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder that can cause involuntary movements and speech problems. Trevena said that hiccups are a symptom of Tourette’s and that Mee’s still suffers from periodic bouts.
He added that the two men charged with Mee had “minimal criminal records” but that her ex-boyfriend was in jail for robbery.
Police said Mee accepted a friend request from Shannon Griffin, 22, on a social networking website five or six days before the robbery, but it was unclear if he had recognized her as the “hiccup girl.” Mee lured Griffin to a vacant home across the street from her apartment building, where two of her friends shot him four times in what the three later told police was a botched robbery, police said. Less than $50 was stolen from Griffin.
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