Questions about Jennifer Mee's competency brought the murder trial against her to a standstill.
"There is a duty to bring any issues regarding competency to the judge immediately. Any questions about that?" Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Nancy Moate-Ley told defense attorney John Trevena.
Mee's attorney made a stunning revelation in court, saying his client has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He says Mee never told him about it until yesterday, when he asked about her disability payments.
"I learned for the first time not only had she been diagnosed and was receiving payment for Tourette's Syndrome which we did know about, but she indicated also the payment was also were for schizophrenia. That was not something that anyone had any prior knowledge of and I think she frankly was embarassed to tell us about that," Trevena said.
The judge was furious.
"It turns out yesterday when you walk in the courtroom, that you then are suddenly told, 'oh by the way, it's not just for Tourettes, it's also for schizophrenia,' " said Judge Moate-Ley asked Trevena.
Jennifer Mee made international headlines in 2007 for her uncontrolable hiccups. They lasted for weeks. In 2010, she and two men were charged with murdering 22-year old Shannon Griffin. One man, 23 year old Laron Raiford Is already spending life in prison. The other, 25-year old Lamont Newton, is still awaiting trial.
"She set everything up," said Assistant State Attorney Christopher LaBruzzo said during opening statements.
Prosecutors say Mee lured Griffin to St. Pete, where he was robbed and eventually shot to death.
"I just seen him sparkling like a kid going on his first date," said Douglas Bolden, Griffin's cousin.
However, Mee's attorney told jurors she had nothing to do with it.
"Six rounds fired. Four hit him in the chest. Even according to the police version, Miss Mee is gone. By the time the gun is fired, she is not at that scene," Trevena told jurors.
A court psychologist evaluated Jennifer Mee for about an hour and a half this morning and ultimately she was found competent to stand trial. The case is now back on track and expected to last through the end of the week. If convicted, she faces life in prison.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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