In 2007 Jennifer Mee shot to fame for a bizarre condition that left her hiccuping as many as 50 times a minute for five minutes.
She appeared on chat shows in across the world and became known as ‘The Hiccup Girl’. The intense, sudden fame was a far cry from her usual life as the 15-year-old daughter of a waitress with stepdad on the dole.
Eventually the hiccups stopped on their own and Mee all but vanished from public consciousness until three years later, when she popped up in the news for something completely different - murder.
In 2010 Mee made contact with a man called Shannon Griffin online. She lured the 22-year-old to an derelict building on the pretense of doing a drug deal.
But Mee wasn’t at the house, instead Griffin was ambushed by Mee’s boyfriend, Lamont Newton, and housemate, Laron Raiford, who robbed Griffin at gunpoint. In the altercation Griffin was shot four times in the chest and died. They managed to steal $50.
Despite not being at the location, and claiming she didn’t know the two men had a gun, she was found guilty of first-degree murder for her role in setting up the robbery.
In an interview with Piers Morgan for the show ‘Killer Women’, Mee tells Morgan she didn’t deserve her murder conviction, but she did do wrong.
‘I don’t feel I should be called a murderer, no. Do I feel like I should have gotten time in prison? Yes.’
‘I wasn’t the one who pulled the trigger but I’m just as guilty. But I’m not this ‘cold hearted killer’ that some people make me out to be.’
Morgan reveals that Mee’s lawyer believed her harsh sentence can be traced back to her earlier fame.
‘Her lawyer said to me he might have been able to do a plea deal of around 10 years in exchange for her testifying against the others – if she hadn’t been the infamous ‘Hiccup Girl’.
‘The prosecution wanted to make an example because of her ‘notoriety’.’
Morgan argues that at the end of the day she does have to take at lease some responsibility having played a key role in Shannon Griffin’s tragic end.
‘He would still be alive if he hadn’t encountered Jennifer Mee on social media. It’s a harrowing tale of our times.’