They were barely audible at first, but the more Jennifer Mee sobbed, the louder they got.
The 19-year-old, known universally the last few years as "Hiccup Girl'' after a highly publicized effort three years ago to quit hiccupping, was in court Tuesday in Pinellas County for a bond hearing. Mee is charged with first-degree murder and has been held without bond. St. Petersburg police say she lured Shannon Griffin, 22, to a dark alleyway on Oct. 23 so two of Mee's roommates, Laron Raiford and Lamont Newton, could rob him.
During the robbery, Griffin was shot four times, police say.
In 2007, then 15 years old, Jennifer Mee gained national attention for a case of the hiccups that lasted more than a month. At today's bond hearing before Pinellas County Circuit Judge Donald Horrox, Mee's mother, Rachel Robidoux, testified her daughter had a learning disability and was illiterate with the mental capacity of a 12-year-old.
Mee's attorney, John Trevena asked the judge to reduce bond and release his client into the custody of her parents.
Griffin's cousin, Doug Bolden, also testified. He said his cousin had come to live at his home about a year ago to escape an area in Mississippi devastated by hurricane Katrina. After moving to St. Petersburg, Bolden said, Griffin secured his GED and a job at Wal-Mart.
"Next thing I know, that Saturday, he's smiling, saying he's going to meet a girl," Bolden said. "The thought that he was lured into a predatorial situation is tragic."
Mee began to sob openly during Bolden's statement. Then the hiccups started.
Judge Horrox said he would announce his decision on Mee's bond on Friday.