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Crime & Courts

'Hiccup girl' charged with murder in Florida

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A teenage girl who became famous after hiccuping uncontrollably for weeks has been charged with luring a man to a house where he was robbed and fatally shot.

Jennifer Mee, 19, of St. Petersburg and two others are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Shannon Griffin, 22, on Saturday.

Mee's unusual condition landed her on NBC's "Today Show" in 2007 and got her a hug from country star Keith Urban.

But her life fell into disarray when the hiccups finally stopped five weeks after they started. She ran away from home twice and her family has sued a hiccup cure company for allegedly using her image for profit without permission.

"I've said for a while now, her case of the hiccups wasn't a case of the hiccups, it was a curse of the hiccups," Mee's mother, Rachel Robidoux, told the 93.3 WFLZ "MJ Morning Show" in Tampa on Monday. She said she did not know exactly what happened, but described the situation as a nightmare and said her daughter had not lived with her in a year.

Sgt. T.A. Skinner of the St. Petersburg Police Department said in a news release that Mee lured Griffin to a home where the others robbed him at gunpoint. Griffin struggled with the suspects and was shot several times, police said.

Skinner said Mee and the others admitted their involvement.

Police records show she lived in a three-story brick apartment building across from where Griffin was killed. Mee's neighbors — who did not want to be identified — said the people who lived in her second-floor apartment were often loud.

Mee's hiccups — up to 50 a minute — gained her notoriety in 2007. She tried home remedies and consulted medical specialists, a hypnotist and an acupuncturist, until the hiccups finally stopped on their own.

On her MySpace page, Mee describes herself as a "female version of a hustla" and adds that "her heart is still in Vermont," where her father lives. She last logged into her page Sunday.

She was being held without bond early Monday. Pinellas County jail records did not show whether she had an attorney. She is scheduled for a court appearance Monday afternoon at the Pinellas County Court in Clearwater.

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