Jennifer Mee, the "Hiccup Girl" who appeared on several national TV programs a few years ago, is now on trial for murder in Pinellas County, Fla.
Mee, 22, suffered from prolonged hiccups of up to 50 a minute in 2007. Videos of her hiccups gained national attention, as did her attempts to stop them.
"Hiccup Girl" tried home remedies and consulted medical specialists, a hypnotist and an acupuncturist, until the hiccups finally stopped on their own.
Then she allegedly helped kill someone.
In 2010, Jennifer Mee was arrested along with two others and charged with first-degree murder in the death of Shannon Griffin, a 22-year-old Walmart worker.
Prosecutors say Mee lured Griffin to a Florida home under the pretense of buying marijuana, but instead two of Mee's friends robbed him at gunpoint.
Griffin struggled with the suspects and was shot several times. Detectives said Mee accepted a friend request from Griffin 5-6 days before the robbery.
Co-defendant LaRon Raiford was sentenced to life in prison. Lamont Newton, the other co-defendant and Mee's then-boyfriend, has not yet gone to trial.
At issue is whether Mee is a bystander or the person who planned the robbery. Officials believe she played a key role in the events leading to Griffin's death.
Under Florida law, a person can be convicted of murder if he or she committed a serious felony crime, such as robbery, and someone was killed as a result.
John Trevena, Mee's attorney, said his client suffered from Tourette's Syndrome, a disorder that can cause involuntary movements and speech problems.
He said that the hiccups were one symptom of Tourette's and said Tuesday that he will mention that during the trial. Said Travena in an interview:
"It won't be used as a direct cause for what occurred but it might help explain her errors in judgment and her often thoughtless response to law enforcement."
He added that his client, who faces life in prison if convicted, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and that he plans to explain that to the jury as well.
Trevena said Mee has been in jail pending trial since October 2010, much of that time in isolation because detention deputies say she is a high profile inmate.
Mee has experienced periodic bouts of hiccups while in jail, said Trevena, and she is being treated for the condition with a drug called thorazine.
"It controls the hiccups," he said.