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‘Hiccup Girl’ denied new trial

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Published:   |   Updated: October 18, 2013 at 09:00 AM

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CLEARWATER — “Hiccup Girl” Jennifer Mee, convicted of first-degree murder last month in the death of a man she met online, will not get the new trial her lawyers asked for last week.

In a ruling released Thursday, Pinellas Circuit Judge Nancy Moate Ley denied Mee’s request for a new trial. She said she had already addressed at trial two of the issues Mee’s defense lawyers had raised: that Ley had provided poor jury instructions and that prosecutors hadn’t produced enough evidence to convict Mee, who was captured on two audiotapes admitting to setting up the robbery that led to Shannon Griffin’s death.

In her ruling, Ley said Mee’s lawyers had failed to produce any evidence to support their contention that the murder happened in a way that differed from how prosecutors said it did.

Mee, 22, was convicted Sept. 20 and sentenced to life in prison in the 2010 death of Griffin, 22. After meeting Griffin on a social networking site, Mee arranged for him to meet two of her roommates — her then-boyfriend, Lamont Newton, and roommate Laron Raiford — in a dark alley in St. Petersburg, ostensibly to buy marijuana, according to investigators. But it was all a plan to rob Griffin, who was fatally shot after he resisted.

Raiford has been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Newton has yet to go to trial.

In requesting a new trial, Mee’s attorneys argued that, among other things, new evidence surfaced while the jury was deliberating.

They also claimed comments a woman named Rosalea Hughes made on a news website alluded to a sequence of events and motive that supported their version of events. A love triangle involving Griffin, Raiford and his girlfriend, Jennifer Charron, led to Griffin’s death, Mee’s lawyers argued.

Ultimately, though, Mee’s lawyers conceded there was no evidence to support the love triangle scenario, Ley noted in her order.

sthompson@tampatrib.com

(727) 215-6504

twitter: @sthompsonTBO

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