Mental illness surprise in Pinellas hiccup girl trial - WFLA News Channel 8

Mental illness surprise in Pinellas hiccup girl trial

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A new issue came up before the swearing in of the jury in the Pinellas county first degree murder trial of Jennifer Mee. Defense Attorney John Trevena told a judge that he learned for the first time yesterday of Mee's schizophrenia diagnosis.

 "I had no intention of entering an insanity defense, but I think this is important because it may explain motive and inconsistent statements," said Trevena. 

He said he would like to have Mee evaluated by a doctor before putting her on the stand. Prosecutors would like to prevent Trevena from bringing up mental illness issues this late in the game during the court proceedings.

A court psychologist was called in to evaluate Mee, and she was deemed competent to stand trial.

Mee has been in the national spotlight since 2007, when at 15 she had a month long case of the hiccups.

Related story: 09/13/2013 Pinellas 'hiccup girl' back in court

In 2010 police said Mee befriended Shannon Griffin on the Internet and lured him to an alley.  Police said her roommates robbed Griffin and shot Griffin.

In opening statements, prosecutors began with the heart of their case against Mee. "She set it up. She set it all up," said Christopher LaBruzzo, Asst. State Attorney, Pinellas County.

Trevena, defense attorney, began his opening statement, by pointing the finger at a 4th roommate, Jennifer Charron.  Charron is expected to testify later this week for the state.

Also Trevena said Mee did not own a cellphone and could not have been responsible for the texts to lure the victim to the scene of the crime.

Related story: 09/13/2013 Pinellas 'hiccup girl' can talk to media before trial

 

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