Rocky start to Hiccup Girl Jennifer Mee's murder trial

12:19 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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Jennifer Mee in court on the first day of her murder trial on Tuesday, September 17 2013.

Pinellas County, Florida - The Hiccup Girl's trial started with a hiccup.

Jennifer Mee, the girl who gained national attention for incessant hiccups in 2007, is on trial for first-degree murder. She's accused of helping two men lure Shannon Griffin to a house in St. Petersburg three years ago with the intention of robbing him. Griffin, 22, was shot and killed.

But before jurors could hear opening statements, lawyers for both sides and the judge discussed competency issues.

On Tuesday, defense attorney John Trevena told a newspaper reporter that Mee had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and that an expert could be called to testify about her mind-set.

Judge Nancy Ley was incredulous that Trevena was just finding out about this now and had not informed the court before jury selection began. Prosecutors were also miffed by this last minute information that could affect their strategy.

As a result, a court psychologist was brought in to evaluate Mee's competency. That expert found Mee capable of going to trial.

Lawyers then delivered opening statements and the first witnesses are expected to be called this afternoon.

If found guilty, Mee would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. That's been the fate already of one of her co-defendants. The other man charged is still awaiting trial.

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