Pinellas 'hiccup girl' can talk to media before trial - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Pinellas 'hiccup girl' can talk to media before trial

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Jennifer Mee will be able to speak with reporters about her upcoming murder trial.

Judge Nancy Moate Ley made that ruling on Friday afternoon. Prosecutors had fought to keep her quiet, worried that pretrial publicity could taint the jury pool.

"We suggest that scheduling these as such the week before trial, the very eve before trial, is in fact and effort to corrupt the trial process and introduce in to the public mainstream information favorable to the defendant, outside the court, things that are inadmissible," said Assistant State Attorney Kendall Davidson.

Davidson says a number of news organizations have lined up for interviews with Mee, including the Dr. Phil Show, the NBC Today Show, Bay News 9, the Tampa Times and Inside Edition.

John Trevena is Mee's criminal defense attorney and argued that his client has every right to speak out.  He says the St. Petersburg Police Department tarnished her name when officers announced they had arrested the hiccup girl.

"When they held a press conference immediately following her arrest and talked about arresting the hiccup girl," said Trevena. "And there were a lot of statements in that press conference that were highly prejudicial to Ms. Mee."

Mee made headlines in 2007 as the teenager who couldn't get rid of her hiccups. Now she is one of three defendants accused in the 2010 killing of Shannon Griffin in St. Petersburg. Jury selection in that murder case is slated to get underway on Tuesday.

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