crimesider

"Hiccup Girl" co-defendant rejects plea deal in murder case, report says

Mee and the others reportedly admitted to the crimes during questioning, CBS affiliate WFOR reports. According to The Associated Press, she is being held without bond. In 2007, Mee gained national attention as the girl who could not stop hiccupping; she would hiccup up to 50 times a minute for months. She tried home remedies and consulted medical specialists, a hypnotist and an acupuncturist, until the hiccups finally just stopped on their own. Mee is no longer suffering from the hiccups, police spokesman Mike Puetz said. Personal Photo

Undated photo of "Hiccup Girl" Jennifer Mee
Personal Photo

(CBS) A Florida man charged along with so-called "Hiccup Girl" Jennifer Mee in the shooting death of a St. Petersburg man turned down a plea deal Wednesday that would have reduced his sentence if convicted of murder, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Pictures: Jennifer Mee, "Hiccup Girl," arrested for murder

Laron Raiford, 22, turned down an offer to plead guilty in exchange for a 40-year prison sentence but his defense attorney said he wanted to continue negotiations, according to the newspaper.

Raiford, 21-year-old Mee and 25 year-old Lamont Newton are accused of luring 22-year-old Shannon Griffin to a St. Petersburg house in October 2010 where he was robbed and shot.

Mee gained national attention while she was in high school in 2007 for having an uncontrollable case of hiccups. After many months of remedies that didn't work, the condition went away on its own.

In Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court Wednesday, Judge Nancy Ley told Raiford it was his right to go to trial but also urged him to consider the plea offer, the Times reports. Ley said if he was convicted of first-degree murder, he would face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Ley said that if Raifor accepted the plea deal, he'd likely get out of prison when he's around 60 years old, the Times reports.

"When you're 22, 60 seems like you should be in the old folks home, but when you get there you think, 'Well, that isn't so old,' " Ley said.

Ley added that Raiford could be convicted of first-degree murder even if he wasn't the one who pulled the gun and fatally shot Griffin. Under Florida's felony murder law, participating in the robbery that resulted in Griffin's death can still get Raiford convicted of murder, according to the newspaper.

Raiford told the judge he understood, the Times reports.

Raiford has another court hearing on April 10, according to the newspaper. Mee and Newton are also awaiting trial at a later date.

Complete coverage of Jennifer Mee on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

Comments