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"Hiccup Girl" Jennifer Mee's Mom Believes Tourette's "Absolutely Played a Role," Says Report

Jennifer Mee: "Hiccup Girl's Mom Believes Tourette's "Absolutely Played a Role"
Jennifer Mee (Personal Photo) Personal Photo

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (CBS/AP) The Tourette's made her do it. At least that's what the attorney for Jennifer Mee, the Florida girl previously known for her nonstop hiccuping, says may be her defense during her murder trial - and her mother agrees.

PICTURES: Jennifer Mee

Mee, 19, was charged Sunday with first-degree murder after police said she lured a 22-year-old man to a meeting where he was robbed and shot Saturday. Maj. Mike Kovacsev, with the St. Petersburg police in Florida, said investigators do not believe she fired the gun.

Mee's mother, Rachel Robidoux, told that she believes that her daughter's condition contributed to the murder. "Absolutely, my daughter's Tourette's would have played a role here," she told the site.

"I have not been able to see her since she was taken to jail," Robidoux told the gossip site. "So, I don't really know how she is doing at the present time."

John Trevena, Mee's attorney, said his client's Tourette's Syndrome is a neurological disorder that can cause involuntary movements and speech problems.

"Hiccups are a symptom of Tourette's," Trevena said, declining to be more specific about how the condition might have affected his client's behavior.

The victim in the case was 22-year-old Shannon Griffin. Police said he worked at Wal-Mart and had lived in Florida for about a year. Police said Mee accepted a friend request from Griffin 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 lived a "transient lifestyle," Maj. Kovacsev told the Today Show, and while she didn't have a prior criminal record, the police had a record of about a dozen contacts with her over the past year, many where her boyfriend roughed her up.

"Sometimes when you live a little bit of a transient lifestyle you tend to hang around some unsavory individuals," Kovacsev said.

Mee's family said that even after her headline-making bout of hiccups in 2007, she continued to be plagued with the condition, sometimes getting hiccups for a week or weeks at a time.

"They'll always continue," her attorney said.

Mee is being held without bond in a protective confinement wing at the Pinellas County Jail because she is a
high-profile inmate.