‘Hiccup girl’ on murder charges
Lawyer for hiccup woman may use controversial Tourette’s defence.
By Scott Dunlop
Image via ABC/Youtube of Jennifer Mee
A girl who appeared on TV as a teen for her prolonged bouts of hiccups has gone on trial in connection with robbery and murder charges, reports the Huffington Post.
The US girl was well-known during her hiccups stage in about 2007, and appeared on the Today show as part of her efforts to find a cure for her hiccups which occurred at a rate of up to 50 per minute. As a teen she was unable to find a solution for her problem.
Now her alleged role in a botched robbery which culminated in the shooting death of the robbery victim may see her facing a life behind bars.
Tourette’s syndrome/hiccups/crime link?
Her lawyer has said that his client, Jennifer Mee, has been experiencing renewed bouts of hiccups in jail and that this is a result of her having Tourette’s syndrome. He has said that she has been taking thorazine to help control her mental disorder and that this also helps to control the hiccups.
The lawyer has come under fire for hinting that he may attempt to link his client’s hiccups and Tourette’s to her alleged criminal activity, prompting the Medical Advisory Board of the Tourette Syndrome Association to reject any kind of proven link between Tourette’s and crime. He also equated his client’s Tourettes with pregnancy, suggesting that if someone is pregnant when they commit a crime, it could be used as a mitigating factor when trying to assess the neurological wellbeing of the pregnant person.
According to CNN, another neurological disorder specialist also said in connection with the possible “hiccups defence” that while Tourette’s may lead to trouble with impulse control, it is highly unlikely to be associated with violent behaviour.
Drugs.com lists hiccups as one of the less-common symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, which causes sufferers to produce involuntary sounds or movements.
You can read more about Tourette’s here:
Tourette's disorder: The facts
1 in 333 kids have Tourette's
The truth about Tourette's (video)
“Hiccup Girl” has once again become the focus of media attention, although this time for a far darker reason.
How do you help your child to get rid of hiccups?