A woman from Florida, who has become famous for an uncontrollable hiccupping condition, was convicted of first-degree murder on Friday. She will spend the rest of her life behind bars without a chance for parole.
A jury in Pinellas Country deliberated for just four hours before reaching its verdict against Jennifer Mee, who is just 22 years of age.
As the verdict was announced in a Clearwater courtroom, Mee could be seen weeping. Nancy Moate Ley, the Judge presiding over the trial told those in the courtroom shortly after the verdict that she could only sentence Mee to life in prison with no chance of parole.
The five-day trial and subsequent verdict brought to an end a sad chapter in the short life of Mee. Attorneys representing Mee she has Tourette’s Syndrome and schizophrenia and her intelligence was classified by a court psychiatrist as low normal.
Mee, when she was 15, developed hiccups that would not stop. She appeared a number of times on television. On one appearance on the Today Show, she was hugged by country music’s Keith Urban.
She tried different home remedies and spoke with medical specialists, an acupuncturist and hypnotists, until finally the hiccups stopped by themselves, though not for good.
John Trevena, Mee’s attorney, said Mee was taking medication to control her hiccupping, but she still would have hiccups occasionally.
Mee, in 2010, was able to lure 22-year old Shannon Griffin, a worker at Walmart, to a home that had been abandoned. Mee told the worker she had marijuana to sell him. However, once the two were there, two friends of Mee robbed the young man at gunpoint. The man struggled and he was shot and killed.
LaRon Raiford, a co-defendant, was convicted in an earlier trial and sentenced in August to life in prison. Lamont Newton, another defendant, who was Mee’s boyfriend when the crime took place, is awaiting trial.