In her first TV interview since her daughter's arrest, Rachel Robidoux told Matt Lauer on Friday's Today show that Jennifer "doesn't realize the severity of what's going on right now." Lauer also reported that Jennifer told her mother she expected to be home for Christmas.
Police say Mee lured Shanon Griffin, 22, whom she had met online, to a vacant St. Petersburg, Fla., home, where two men – Laron Raiford, 20, and Lamont Newton, 22, – robbed Griffin at gunpoint. Griffin struggled with the suspects and was shot several times, police said.
Robidoux said on Today that when she first heard of the incident, she was "definitely in a state of shock. I thought I was still sleeping and it was a nightmare."
She described Jennifer's existence during the past three years since the notoriety over her hiccups as transient, and said that the teen was "running with the wrong crowd."
In previous interviews, Robidoux called her daughter a "lovable, sweet little girl who wouldn't hurt a fly," while also admitting that Jennifer has a learning disability and the mental capacity of a 12-year-old and is illiterate.
Sitting beside Robidoux during the Today interview was Mee's attorney, John Trevena, who said the fact his client has been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome – a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by physical tics – will be used in her defense, "certainly to the extent that it was a mitigating factor," though to what extent he could not say.
A plea deal is in the works, it was said on the show.
Mee, who has been denied bond, is being treated in jail with medication for her hiccups, which have returned.