Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

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Normal Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:06 am

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I think Nancy needs to start imbibing on TV. She needs something to chill out!


Last edited by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:23 am; edited 2 times in total

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:15 am

Drunk Mom Sleeps On 3-Week-Old Baby, Killing Him?
Jun 9, 2012 33 By NewsOne Staff

Minnesota mother Toni A. Medrano has been charged with manslaughter after allegedly drinking a fifth of vodka, then sleeping on top of her 3-week-old baby and killing him in the process, the Star Tribune reports.

The boy, Adrian Alexander Medrano, was born on Nov. 1 of 2011 and died of asphyxia after being slept on, according on an autopsy by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office. According to The Tribune, Medrano was charged with “second-degree manslaughter for “culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk,” and a count of second-degree manslaughter for “committing or attempting to commit a violation.”
Both counts are felonies.

Here is how the tragic death of little Adrian took place, according to reporting by Minnesota newspaper Pioneer Press:

According to the complaint, Medrano told police she went to sleep around midnight Nov. 21, 2011, after drinking almost an entire fifth of Phillips Vodka. She slept on the couch with Adrian between her and the back cushion.

Medrano told police she woke up at 3 a.m. and fed the baby some formula. She woke up three other times when her other children got up to get ready for school but she didn’t leave the couch. At 10:30 a.m., she realized Adrian wasn’t breathing and was cold and purple.

Medrano and her husband called police, who tried to revive the baby. Adrian was transported to Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury, where he was pronounced dead.

Medrano’s blood-alcohol content was 0.11 in a breath test taken at 11:04 a.m. on Nov. 22.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput in an emailed statement said that “Irrespective of the ultimate outcome in this matter, I hope that valuable lessons can be learned from these very tragic circumstances.”
If Medrano is convicted, she faces ten years in prison, according to CBS Minnesota.

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Was the father drunk, too? If not, didn't he KNOW his 3 week old son was sleeping on the couch w/his very drunk wife? Wouldn't he check on the baby and move him to his crib?

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:57 pm

Wrap said Was the father drunk, too? If not, didn't he KNOW his 3 week old son was sleeping on the couch w/his very drunk wife? Wouldn't he check on the baby and move him to his crib?

Good question. Where was the father! I am so glad they charged her with manslaughter.
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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:18 pm

Cottage Grove manslaughter case featured on Nancy Grace cable show
Area News

-- A Cottage Grove woman accused of suffocating her infant son after drinking heavily caught cable television attention.

By: Scott Wente - South Washington County Bulletin, Pierce County Herald

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - A Cottage Grove woman accused of suffocating her infant son after drinking heavily caught cable television attention.

Talk show host Nancy Grace put a cable-TV spotlight on the case of Toni A. Medrano, who was charged this month with manslaughter in connection with her 3-week-old son’s death in their Cottage Grove home last year. Washington County prosecutors allege Medrano, 29, drank a bottle of vodka before falling asleep on a couch with her newborn son. She awoke hours later and the baby was unresponsive. A medical examiner concluded the baby was suffocated.

“Did Mommy booze it up and kill her baby?” Grace boasted at the beginning of a six-minute segment that appeared on her show’s website to promote the TV segment. Medrano is referred to as “Vodka Mom” in the feature.

During the segment, Grace, known for focusing on sensational crime news, interviewed a doctor and retired police captain outside of Minnesota and unrelated to the Cottage Grove investigation. As they discussed the case, Grace poured vodka into glasses to count how many glasses are in a fifth-bottle of booze.

Grace also interviewed Cottage Grove police detective Greg Malcolm by phone. Malcolm was an investigator on the Medrano case. Malcolm said Medrano told police she drank the day before the newborn’s death and then again in the hours before she went to sleep on a couch with the infant. Police don’t know how much alcohol Medrano drank in total, but they found empty booze bottles in the home, Malcolm said.

“She is so drunk off of a fifth of vodka she doesn’t even know her baby is laying there dead beside her,” Grace claimed. “There were hours of there, there was a long period of time that baby’s life could’ve been saved.”

A story about the death that appeared on the show’s website generated Facebook comments from around the country. The show is on the HLN channel.

The newborn died Nov. 22, 2011. The criminal complaint against Medrano alleges she fell asleep about midnight after drinking. She woke up a few times to talk to her other children the next morning but went back to sleep with the newborn on the couch with her. She awoke after 10 a.m. and the baby was not breathing and was cold to the touch. Charges were filed June 7, following an investigation that was delayed because authorities were awaiting medical lab results.

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Normal Cottage Grove woman charged with manslaughter started herself on fire in suicide attempt

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:45 pm

Published July 06, 2012, 09:57 AM

Area News
-- A Cottage Grove woman charged with manslaughter in the death of her newborn son tried to commit suicide by setting herself on fire this week, according to police.
By: Scott Wente, Pierce County Herald

Emergency crews were sent to a St. Paul Park home about 4 a.m. Monday after someone at the home reported that a woman was burned after attempting suicide by starting herself on fire in the backyard.

A police report identified the victim as Toni A. Medrano, 29, of Cottage Grove. The report says Medrano was burned, and that family members put her in the shower by the time authorities arrived.

Medrano was transported by Cottage Grove ambulance from the home in the 1300 block of Chicago Avenue to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, according to Cottage Grove police.

A Regions spokeswoman said Thursday there was no record of Medrano as a patient; that could mean family requested that her condition not be released or that she was treated and released.

Medrano was charged last month with two counts of second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of her 3-week-old infant son on Nov. 22, 2011. Washington County prosecutors allege that Medrano drank a bottle of vodka in the evening and then fell asleep on a couch with the baby. She awoke hours later and found the baby unresponsive. A medical examiner concluded that the baby died of suffocation.

Medrano’s first court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 3 in Washington County District Court. Medrano has been formally charged but was not jailed pending the upcoming court appearance.

The Medrano case gained national attention last month when it was featured on Nancy Grace’s crime-focused cable TV talk show.

Further information about the attempted suicide was not immediately available. St. Paul Park Police Chief Mike Monahan said the incident is under investigation.

Scott Wente is editor of the South Washington County Bulletin.

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Why did they not keep her in jail?
She probably got drunk and then poured vodka on her and lit a match.
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Normal Scorned Cottage Grove mom sets self ablaze

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Jul 11, 2012 11:39 pm

Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune Updated: July 10, 2012 - 12:13 AM

Called "vodka mom" on national TV after suffocating her infant son while drunk, the Cottage Grove woman died of her injuries.

A 29-year-old Cottage Grove woman set herself afire and died just weeks after being ridiculed as "vodka mom" on national television for drunkenly rolling onto and asphyxiating her three-week-old son in November.

Toni Medrano died at 11:30 p.m. Saturday at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, said Don Gorrie, a spokesman for the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office. The cause and manner of death are under investigation, Gorrie said.

Medrano doused herself in a flammable liquid on July 2 and lit her body on fire in her mother's backyard in St. Paul Park at 4:01 a.m., said Police Chief Michael Monahan. Medrano was "despondent and suicidal over personal issues," he said.

Medrano was charged last month in Washington County with two counts of manslaughter in the death of Adrian Alexander Medrano, who was born Nov. 1. The infant died of asphyxia Nov. 22.

County Attorney Pete Orput said he was saddened by the news and until now believed Medrano had been seeking the county's help for chemical dependency and parenting counseling. "She chose a permanent solution to a temporary problem," Orput said.

According to the criminal complaint filed last month, the baby's father came home Nov. 21 to find his wife drunk and sleeping on the couch with the boy and warned her against such behavior. (WHY didn't he simply pick the baby up and put him in his crib??!!) head bang The next morning, Medrano woke her husband, yelling, "JJ, the baby is dead."

Jason Medrano went downstairs and called 911 about 10:30 a.m. The criminal complaint said police arrived to find the father trying to resuscitate the boy, who wasn't breathing and was already cold to the touch. The baby was pronounced dead at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury.

Medrano admitted to drinking a fifth of vodka in the hours leading up to her son's death, according to the criminal complaint. Medrano also told police she had gone to bed at midnight, but woke at 3 a.m. and fed the baby formula. She woke three more times and spoke with her other children, but did not leave the couch.

A preliminary blood-alcohol test by police showed Medrano at .11 percent. The legal limit for driving is .08 percent.

About a week after she was charged, flame-throwing CNN talk-show host Nancy Grace featured the case on her show. Grace held up a fifth of cheap vodka and said she was going to see how many glasses she could get out of the bottle.

She poured at least nine as the words "vodka mom" appeared on the screen.

Grace said during the show that she had attempted to contact Medrano at her house. She then spoke to a reporter from her show and two officials unfamiliar with the case as she theorized that Medrano had been sleeping on her child for hours. "There was a long period of time that baby's life could have been saved," Grace said.

She said the baby was purple and one guest theorized that was from a "pooling of blood" because he had been dead for so long. "Why no murder one charges?" Grace asked, referring to the charge for premeditated murder.

Calls and e-mails seeking comment from Grace's network and show weren't answered Monday.

Medrano apparently lit the fire that killed her while at her mother's home in the 1200 block of Chicago Av. S. in St. Paul Park, a quiet street of ramblers and full, tall trees. Her mother, Yvonne Hill, declined to comment Monday, citing the advice of her lawyer.

Maria Phillips, Medrano's younger sister, said Medrano was "shaking and couldn't take a breath" as she watched Grace's show. "She got depressed and said life wasn't worth living. She said she couldn't live with herself."

The death is under investigation, Monahan said.


Medrano lived with her husband and older children about 10 minutes from her mother in Cottage Grove. Children's scooters sat on the front porch along with weight-lifting equipment. On Monday, the door to their townhouse was decorated with pictures and children's artwork along with a quotation from popular self-help author Nathaniel Branden's book, "Psychology of Romantic Love," which read:

"We must learn that if heroism and strength mean anything, it is the willingness to face reality, to face truth, to respect facts, to accept that which is, is."


Grace is known for her guilty-until-proven-otherwise approach to crime-fighting. She focuses on crimes involving women and children.

Orput said regardless of what Grace said, Medrano made the choice to kill herself.

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I actually watched this episode and thought Nancy went WAY overboard with waving the bottle around. Here is yet another case of a woman who allegedly takes her life after watching Nancy Grace. I do not think NG is to blame for THIS suicide but she sure layed it on thick. I doubt she WILL comment on it.

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:02 am













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Normal Toni Medrano, Dubbed 'Vodka Mom' By Nancy Grace, Committed Suicide, Police Say

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:09 am

Posted: 07/11/2012 6:30 pm
Updated: 07/11/2012 10:17 pm

Toni Medrano's family is pointing the finger at Nancy Grace after she allegedly killed herself,
Nancy Grace is in the spotlight again following the suicide of a 29-year-old Minnesota mother of four who was recently featured on her television show.

According to the St. Paul Park Police Department, Toni Medrano, of Cottage Grove, Minn., died Saturday at a local hospital. It is believed Medrano's death is the result of a July 2 incident in which she allegedly set herself on fire while visiting her mother's St. Paul Park home.

"Through the preliminary investigation, the officers determined there was a flammable liquid that she used to set herself on fire," St. Paul Park Police Chief Michael Monahan told The Huffington Post.

While authorities say they suspect Medrano's death is a suicide, an official cause of death is pending.

"I can tell you preliminarily that she died of complications from thermal injuries -- that means fire," said Don Gorrie, a spokesman for the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office. "We won't be signing the death certificate until all of our testing process is done ... and it could be weeks."

Last month, Grace dubbed Medrano "vodka mom", because the woman had allegedly killed her newborn after a night of heavy drinking.

"The baby is dead because of vodka mommy," Grace said during her June 11 show on HLN. "I don't care if she was driving a car, holding a pistol or holding a fifth of vodka. [It] doesn't matter to me. The baby is dead at the hands of the mommy."

Medrano's 3-week-old son, Adrian Alexander Medrano, died while sleeping on the couch with her on Nov. 22, 2011. According to the criminal complaint, Toni Medrano told police she had consumed almost an entire fifth of vodka the night before her son died and fell asleep with him on a couch. The following morning, she woke up and found her infant son unresponsive and cold to the touch.

Medrano's husband told authorities he had awoken to his wife screaming, "the baby is dead," according to the criminal complaint. Medrano's husband called 911, but paramedics were unable to resuscitate the child. The baby was pronounced dead at Woodwinds Hospital in Woodbury.

According to the criminal complaint, a preliminary blood-alcohol test conducted by police showed Medrano's level to be .11 percent, which is three points higher than the state's legal driving limit.

An autopsy by the county medical examiner's office determined Adrian Medrano had died of "asphyxia due to being laid upon while sleeping with an adult."

In June, Medrano was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter. If convicted on both counts, Medrano would have faced a maximum of 10 years behind bars.

During her television show about the baby's death, Grace said the charges filed against Medrano weren't harsh enough.

"I don't see how this whole thing was an accident and I want murder charges," Grace said.

Greg Malcolm, a detective with the Cottage Grove Police Department, which investigated the infant's death, said he believed the child's death was accidental.

"I sincerely don't believe that she had any intent to cause harm to her child on this evening," Malcolm said. "By all other accounts, she's been a productive mom, a good mom. She's done a decent job of raising her children. She, unfortunately, was in the habit of sleeping with this particular child from the day it came home from the hospital."

Medrano's sister, Maria Phillips, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune her sister had watched Grace's show about the baby's death. Afterward, she was "shaking and couldn't take a breath," Phillips said.

Medrano's husband, Jason Medrano, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the show, as well as the Internet comments that followed it, were cruel.

"The things people said were horrible," he told the newspaper. "It shows that cyberbullying happens to adults, too."


Speaking with Fox 9 News, Medrano's mother, Yvonne Hill, said her daughter fell into a depression.

"She was trying to build and get by and live with what happened," Hill said. "When she saw that, it broke her spirit in the worst way."

Chief Monahan told The Huffington Post his agency is still investigating what prompted Medrano's alleged suicide. Asked if her child's death being featured on national television may have played a role, Michael responded, "It very well could [have]."

Regardless of what pushed her to allegedly take her own life, Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said it was Medrano who ultimately made the decision to set herself on fire.

"She chose a permanent solution to a temporary problem," he told the Star-Tribune.

The case of Medrano's death is not the first in which Grace's name has surfaced.

In Sept. 2006, 21-year-old Melinda Duckett, of Leesburg, Fla., killed herself after Grace interviewed her about the disappearance of her 2-year-old son, Trenton.

Trenton Duckett disappeared on Aug. 27, 2006. According to Melinda Duckett, she put her son to bed that night, only to later discover that he was missing.

On Sept. 8, Grace questioned Duckett on national TV, asking her where she had been the day her son disappeared.

"Where were you? Why aren't you telling us where you were that day, you were the last person to be seen with him?" Grace inquired. Duckett responded that she was not going to put "those kind[s] of details out," to which Grace responded, "Ms. Duckett, you are not telling us for a reason. What is the reason? You refuse to give even the simplest facts of where you were with your son before he went missing. It is day 12." Grace then moved on to Dr. Lillian Glass, a psychologist, who stated Duckett was "skirting around the issue."

Melinda Duckett did not give any other interviews following her appearance on Grace's show. She shot and killed herself the same day the pre-taped interview was scheduled to air. Less than two weeks later, the Leesburg Police Department named Duckett the prime suspect in Trenton's disappearance. The child remains missing.

In a Sept. 15, 2006 interview on "Good Morning America," Grace said that she took no responsibility for Duckett's suicide.

"If anything, I would suggest that guilt made her commit suicide," Grace told ABC News' Chris Cuomo. "To suggest that a 15- or 20-minute interview can cause someone to commit suicide is focusing on the wrong thing."

Duckett's family disagreed and filed a lawsuit against Grace, claiming that her intense questioning had pushed Duckett to commit suicide. The lawsuit stated that Grace and her associates inflicted "pain, suffering, embarrassment, humiliation [and] intimidation" on Duckett, which was ultimately the "cause or the proximate cause of her death by suicide."

The family sought damages in excess of $15,000 for funeral expenses and loss of wages, in addition to punitive damages, in an "amount sufficient" to punish the defendants.

On Nov. 8, 2010, Grace reached a settlement with the estate of Melinda Duckett to create a $200,000 trust fund dedicated to locating Trenton. Per the terms of the agreement, if the boy is found alive before he turns 13, the remaining proceeds will be administered by a trustee until he turns 18. Otherwise, the funds will be transferred to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

HLN, Grace's network, did not respond to a request for comment from HuffPost with regards to Medrano's death. Her mother, Yvonne Hill, declined to comment, citing the advice of her attorney.

Whether a lawsuit will be filed in Toni Medrano's case is yet to be seen. There is, however, little doubt that Medrano, like her son before her, died a horrible death.

"It is a terrible, terrible thing," Monahan said.

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:13 am

I have not followed this case much. I do remember seeing NG pouring the vodka in to shot glasses. Yes bullying does happen to adults to. But I have to say Toni Medrano was a very ill woman. Committing suicide by setting your self on fire is not the one of the usual ways to commit suicide. It is way over the top and would be a horribly painful death.
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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:11 pm

I agree. As I stated upthread before she passed away, I presume she was intoxicated when she set herself aflame. One would have to be plastered to do this. my 2 cents

I do want to say that I think Nancy Grace goes WAYY overboard and as that link showed, her program (IMHO) is more for "entertainment". She is dramatic personified and Everyone is guilty right off the bat. She could have discussed this sad story w/out getting out a bottle of vodka (wish she would have taken a few shots to chill her out!) and done this play by play (please see video upthread). We are not dummies. We know that drinking a gallon of practically anything (other than water) w/make you sick. GMAB!!

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Lilone on Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:28 pm

Nancy is certainly passionate about child abuse, particularly when it results in a child's death. I tend to agree with her theoretically, but I also agree that she is overly dramatic.

The "Vodka Mom" did not commit suicide because NG embarrassed or humiliated her. She committed suicide because she was overwhelmed with guilt and grief, that she had caused the death of her own child. She should have thought about what could happen before she drank herself into oblivion. No homicide can be excused because someone got themselves drunk before they caused it...

People don't commit suicide because of what someone says or thinks about them. They do it because they are disappointed in themselves. No matter the age of a suicide victim, the blame for their death is on their own shoulders.

They are responsible for pulling the trigger, lighting the fire, swallowing or injecting the drugs, jumping off a cliff or any other action that kills them. Nobody else can be blamed. If she wanted to bring a civil suit against NG she had every right to do so because in this country you can do that. But-- this country will not permit homicide or suicide and finds both to be abominable.

She should have faced reality and gone to trial. She might have gotten a jury who saw fit to find the baby's death accidental. Of course, they might have found her guilty of negligent homicide, which in my opinion, she was.

I do believe that the father should share responsibility for the baby's death. Isn't it his job to protect his child? Like Wrap said upthread, Why, for God's sake, didn't he just put the baby in its crib?
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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:47 pm

I cannot get into the mind of anyone that is suicidal as I've never thought about it long enough. Sure, we've all said, "Just shoot me" or "I am having a bad day, week, month, year and it sure would be easy just to end my life" (at least I've thought that but like I said, it was a split second thought when I was braindead tired.) IF I were ever going to end my life, I would take pills and just fall asleep forever. I sure as Hail wouldn't set myself on fire. I don't like pain.

There are some on this board who have lost a loved one to suicide and it has (as it should and does) affected their lives forever more.

That being said, I tend to agree w/you, Lilone, that no one makes us kill ourselves. It is deep-seated for sure. And of course Nancy didn't drive this gal to set herself on fire. She was, as you stated, full of guilt. It's evident she had a substance abuse problem and instead of seeking help, took her life, leaving her poor children to live with this the rest of their lives.

And, that father. WTF I think he should bear some responsibility here for not picking up HIS son and doing what any responsible parent/person would do under these horrifying circumstances.

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:55 pm

Sam Surface: Life Wasted (And I Don’t Mean that Mediocre Late-Period Pearl Jam Single)

Stillwater attorney Sam Surface writes about the tragic ending to a terrible story involving a former client of his, Toni Medrano, who reportedly killed herself after being ridiculed on Nancy Grace.

July 11, 2012

All attempted levity in the title of this post aside; this is a tragic ending to a terrible story which involves a former client of mine.

Last fall, a nightmare occurred in Cottage Grove which led to Ms. Toni Medrano being charged with First Degree Felony Manslaughter. According to the criminal complaint, Ms. Medrano was intoxicated at home after drinking large amounts of alcohol. In her inebriated state, it is alleged that she either fell asleep or passed out on the couch where she unconsciously rolled onto her infant son. Allegedly, the boy was suffocated and found dead when she awoke.

Ms. Medrano was out on bail and waiting trial; a trial that will never happen as she has taken her own life.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Ms. Medrano committed suicide by lighting herself on fire in her mother’s backyard. While one can speculate that Ms. Medrano was no doubt horrified and depressed by her alleged actions (note: I have not had contact with Ms. Medrano for several years, including no contact after the manslaughter case arose), her family also suspects that her treatment by The Nancy Grace show and the fall-out afterword played a role in her decision to end her life.

Several years ago I represented Ms. Medrano in a gross-misdemeanor DWI case. It is one of the DWI cases referenced by Nancy Grace during the broadcast. Until I watched the clip of the segment focused on Ms. Medrano, I had never previously seen her show. I always suspected it would not be my cup of tea as I assumed it was just lowest-common-denominator television with talking heads in boxes on the screen yelling at each other. If the segment of the show related to Ms. Medrano is a fair representation of Ms. Grace’s regular programming, it is unfortunately all that and worse.

The tenor of Ms. Grace’s show seems to be horrendously sensationalized and mean-spirited. Ms. Grace over-simplified this situation (let alone her cheap tabloid tactic of pouring out a fifth of vodka on the air to “demonstrate” what Ms. Medrano allegedly drank) to garner ratings. While getting ratings is presumably her main job, one would hope that as a current journalist and former attorney she would strive to be a bit more professional and ethical in her delivery. Her cheap tricks came at the expense of everyone involved in the process whether they were the defendant, the victim’s family, attorneys, law enforcement professionals, social workers, judges, etc. It was a shameful display of empty speculation disguised as faux-science combined with a healthy heaping of righteous indignation.

Obviously, Ms. Grace’s show is not the main tragedy here – though it is tragically terrible television. I am not attempting to divert attention from the fact a helpless and innocent three week old boy is dead, and now his mother is too. However, the actions of Ms. Grace hammer home just how important our presumption of innocence truly is. Imagine without it how the Nancy Graces of the world would act towards the accused? If Ms. Medrano had actually done what had been charged by the Washington County Attorney’s Office, she would have been punished accordingly after a fair trial and in a civilized manner. Regardless of the emotions the dead boy stirs in all of us, that outcome would have been far preferable to anything conjured up by a person with the mindset exhibited by Nancy Grace.

I would hope that most people expect more from their news than what was displayed by Ms. Grace. Unfortunately, nobody will ever know how Ms. Grace’s show affected Ms. Medrano…

…because Ms. Medrano isn’t around to ask anymore.

--This column was written by Stillwater Attorney Samuel E. Surface and was published with his permission from his Legal Musings from Stillwater blog.

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Guest on Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:22 am

However, the actions of Ms. Grace hammer home just how important our presumption of innocence truly is.

I do not think a presumption of innocents was even a thought in this case. I thought Toni admitted to this and the baby's Father as well. I respect he don't like NG show. I say if you don't like her show don't watch it.
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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jul 13, 2012 8:42 am

He states that was the first and only time he had watched it. I don't care for it but w/watch now on occasion if I know she w/be covering a high profile case or if I am bored and want a laugh at her outrageousness. Is that a word?? confused

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Post by Lilone on Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:08 am

I think that those of us who have watched a lot of the Nancy Grace show know a lot about her personality and a lot about her goals. She is misunderstood by many who watch only a clip, or hear about her from various equally passionate defense lawyers, or otherwise base their opinion of her on very limited direct or second-hand information.

As a prosecutor, when she sees evidence compelling enough in her opinion to bring charges, she very openly expresses her opinion. I can appreciate that passion. Drama? Sure. Passionate people are prone to drama. So what? Aren't many lawyers dramatic in their presentations of a case? At least she didn't say "penis" or flip the bird at those who disagree with her...

However, just because Nancy Grace expresses an opinion doesn't cause me or others to buy into it. I have my own mind, my own perceptions, and my own opinions. I greatly respect her experience and education and it helps me much of the time to understand issues that I am ignorant of, but again, she doesn't make up my mind for me.

In this case, she saw a homicide, which no one disputes. She also saw the defendant drinking herself stupid which, under the law, is no excuse for homicide. As a mother, it was Medrano's responsibility, both moral and legal, to protect her infant, and to remain mentally alert enough to achieve this responsibility. She failed to do either.

As such, she would be subject to legal prosecution. Charges of manslaughter vs. murder would be up to the eyes and mind of the (Minnesota) state attorney and/or the grand jury.

Nancy Grace is not the Minnesota state attorney, nor is she a prosecutor in the state of Minnesota, she is simply a former prosecutor who has an opinion and expresses it passionately on her show (which is her Constitutional right, and is upheld by HLN).

Mr. Surface has an equally Constitutional right to express his opinion, and has done so. I've read it and have formed my own opinion of his opinion.

This case is undoubtedly tragic, and I am sure this mother had no intent to kill her child, but kill him she did. That is the definition of homicide. The fact that he was 3 weeks old, totally dependent, and being cared for by a mother who voluntarily got herself sloppy-assed drunk is heinous and the most tragic fact of this case. Our laws demand that parents be responsible for their children, including protecting them from harm. Sleeping on them is unacceptable. Amen.
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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by raine1953 on Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:21 am

I happened to catch the show where NG dramatically poured the vodka and spued her usual nastiness from her mouth. Personally I thought she was way over the top, acted ridiculous and I'm sure I could come up with other mean things to say about her. I have trouble conceiving that people can even like her when she does things like this but the ratings speak for themselves.
I do NOT think NG is responsible for this woman committing suicide. It was her own demons that drove her to commit this act and in such a dramatic and horrible way and look what she left her other children with!!! They just lost their baby sister in a horrible way and now Mom is so selfish that she left them Motherless with horrific memories of how she did this!
I also think that husband should have been aware his wife had been drinking, taken that baby off of the couch and away from drunk Mom!
But I still think NG should tone down some of her nonsense. JMOO.
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Post by raine1953 on Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:26 am

Lilone, my post isn't in response to yours, I hadn't read your post and was just slow in posting mine. Although I can't stand NG I do agree with much of what you said above and especially your last paragraph!!
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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Lilone on Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:59 pm

Hey, Raine, it's all cool. I didn't think your post was about mine. Like I said, I think she is overly dramatic too.

You made some excellent points about Medrano. Why on Earth would she want to set herself ablaze? Why drink until she couldn't take care of her baby and other kids? Why not get up when her husband told her to and put the baby in bed so they could both get some rest? What in the name of God was that woman thinking?!? She obviously had mental problems, and they didn't start when her baby died. Her other kids will be scarred for life for her actions.

I just hate it when people like Samuel Surface puts Nancy Grace down because he saw a clip that disturbed him. Her way of expressing herself may not be acceptable to him, but he should listen to what she is saying and not pay attention to how she is saying it.

She goes over the line a LOT in my opinion, and I was flabbergasted at her pouring the vodka myself...

When I first started watching her, I couldn't stand her either. I thought she was too opinionated and harsh, even with her guests. (Remember when she & Mark NeJame clashed?)

It also irked me that she couldn't get through a show without talking about her babies and how she almost died giving birth. But the Anthony saga took so long and I just kept watching because it was the best way to keep up with the case.

Now I watch Nancy less, but still tune in when there is a case that interests me. I'm more tolerant of her "flamboyance" and not as offended by her as I used to be.
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Normal Survivors of 'vodka mom' seek settlement

Post by Wrapitup on Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:02 am

Published: July 17, 2012 at 1:58 PM

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn., July 17 (UPI) -- An attorney for survivors of a Minnesota woman who killed herself after Nancy Grace called her "vodka mom" said he plans to contact CNN about a settlement.

Toni Medrano, 29, of Cottage Grove, south of St. Paul, died July 7 after reportedly setting herself afire in her mother's backyard, the St. Paul Pioneer Press has reported.

Attorney Michael Padden, who has been hired by Medrano's survivors, said he would seek a settlement from CNN, and if the network offers none, he would consider a lawsuit, the Pioneer Press said.

Medrano was dubbed the "vodka mom" on a June 11 segment of the "Nancy Grace" show on CNN's HLN channel, and other national news outlets picked up the story and the "vodka mom" label.

Medrano allegedly drank a fifth of vodka before falling asleep on a couch next to her 3-week-old son in November, and an autopsy showed the baby was smothered. Medrano was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

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Was waiting for this. No surprise here but they won't get one thin dime.

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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:06 am

Family of dead woman ridiculed by Nancy Grace hires Lake Elmo attorney

By Bob Shaw
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Posted: 07/16/2012 12:01:00 AM CDT
Updated: 07/16/2012 09:40:40 PM CDT

Attorney Michael Padden has been hired by the survivors of Toni Medrano, the Cottage Grove mother who killed herself after being ridiculed on a television show.

Padden said Monday, July 16, that he is planning to contact the CNN network to negotiate a settlement. Failing that, he said, he is considering a lawsuit.

The Lake Elmo lawyer has represented clients in several high-profile cases, including a wrongful-death suit involving unintended acceleration of a Toyota driven by Koua Fong Lee in June 2006 that killed a man and two children.

Medrano achieved national notoriety after it was alleged she was responsible for the death of her 3-week-old son.

On the night of Nov. 21, 2011, she allegedly drank a fifth of vodka before falling asleep on a couch next to the baby. About 10:30 a.m. the next day, police received a call that the baby was dead. According to an autopsy, he was smothered.

Medrano was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter.

On a segment of the "Nancy Grace" television show on June 11, Medrano was ridiculed and dubbed "the vodka mom" -- a nickname that was repeated by news outlets across the country.

About 4 a.m. July 2, Medrano reportedly poured a flammable liquid over herself and lighted it while she was in her mother's back yard in St. Paul Park. She died July 7.

Padden said that a similar case in 2006 resulted in an out-of-court settlement of $200,000.

In that case, according to ABC News, a Leesburg, Fla.,
mother told police her baby was missing. Local police considered her a possible suspect.

The woman appeared on "Nancy Grace," where she was intensely interrogated. One week later, she killed herself. (Melinda Duckett appeared that same day on NG's show and after it aired (tape delayed) she killed herself the next day..not a week later IIRC).

Padden said he isn't sure when more legal action will be taken. "But there's a lot more to come, let's put it that way," he said.

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Post by raine1953 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:54 am

It figures. I hope CNN doesn't give them one dime, let them take it to court.
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Post by Wrapitup on Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:58 am

Family: TV Show Prompted Woman’s Suicide

July 31, 2012 10:46 PM
Reporting Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota family says their loved one’s treatment on national television led her to take her own life.

Earlier this summer, Nancy Grace did a segment on Toni Medrano. The Cottage Grove woman had just been accused of drinking, then passing out on her baby, suffocating him.

Grace dubbed Medrano the “Vodka Mom.”

Medrano’s husband and mother are now speaking out on what they say the show did to her.

After Medrano’s 3-week-old son, Adrian, died, she faced second-degree manslaughter charges. Her husband, Jason Medrano, said she thought the family could get through the tough time together.

“After the show it was a big spiral down,” Jason Medrano said.

He said it was the appearance on Grace’s June 11 show that changed the woman he loved, forever.

“She was like, ‘She called me a murderer,’ and it started sinking in and all the comments — it took a big toll,” he said.

Toni Medrano’s mother, Yvonne Hill, said her daughter “locked up” after the show.


She said Toni Medrano changed her hair, wore hats and sunglasses, and refused to go out in public.

Less than a month after the Nancy Grace show featured her, Medrano killed herself by lighting herself on fire in the backyard of Hill’s home.

Attorney Michael Padden says he has been in contact with lawyers representing Grace’s show.

“Like most civil cases we’ll attempt resolution. If the case doesn’t settle, then it will go into litigation; but if it doesn’t settle then it’s 100 percent guarantee that it will go into litigation,” Padden said.

The family wants people to know Toni Medrano was a good mother. She started treatment after the death of her baby, hoping to keep her other kids.

They say the start of her new life ended on national television.

“The evidence will be clear that, after she saw the show, she went into a tailspin from which she never recovered,” Padden said.

Padden says he feels this case is similar to another case that was prosecuted in Florida in 2006.

The family of Melinda Ducket claimed Grace’s words on her show led to Ducket shooting and killing herself.

Grace settled with the family.

CNN, which owns the HLN network that Grace’s show is on, said they could not comment on the Medrano case.

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Post by Wrapitup on Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:48 pm

Mommy Drunkest

No matter how much I loved my newborn son, it was never enough to get me to stop drinking. Not even when, at rock bottom, I feared my drinking might kill him.

By Jowita Bydlowska
07/24/12

I often imagined I would fall down the stairs with my son in my arms when I was in a blackout. There were many ways to cause him injury but it was the stairs my brain kept going back to. And yet picturing that didn’t halt my drinking.

This is what I say to my friend, Gina, when she asks me about my rock bottom. I search her face for traces of shock—a twitch, a shutter-speed blink of an eye—but her face is still.

“It’s not that I made peace with it,” I say, suddenly self-conscious. Gina nods. “But I couldn’t stop. And nobody or nothing could stop me.” Gina nods. She nods and she nods because she’s an alcoholic just like me and she knows about not being able to stop.

I recalled this conversation recently, when I heard about Toni Medrano accidentally killing her three-week old baby when she crushed him after drunkenly rolling over him. Eight months later, she set herself on fire and died. Medrano’s family suggested she killed herself after watching Nancy Grace’s histrionic blame-game on CNN, where Grace called for murder charges, acted out Medrano’s drinking and coined the term “Vodka mom” to possibly further dehumanize Medrano.

Upstairs, I was a good mom but downstairs I was a drunk.

I saw Medrano’s suicide as a non-surprising ending to a tragic event that began with the first sip of vodka on that November 21st, 2011. I imagined myself in her place and thought that the suicide wasn’t just because of Grace’s predictable idiocy, although it may have helped push her over the edge. I think that Medrano was standing at that edge, looking down for a long time—perhaps even before her son died. When I drank, I thought about suicide too. I thought it would be a way to prevent the tragedy I was sure I was courting. I was lucky nothing happened when I drank after my son was born. I was lucky I got sober, not dead. Lucky. Not better, smarter than Medrano or even more responsible. Just lucky.

I first got sober at 27 and relapsed when I was 31, after my son was born.

When I drank, I had a routine worked out. I would put the baby to sleep in his crib and wait until my husband would go to bed. Then I would go downstairs to the living room and watch movies on my laptop and drink in secret. My husband never caught me with a drink. He knew that I was at it again but he had no idea about the extent of it. I hid bottles in the closet, in the inside lining of my purse. I hid them behind the potted plants on the deck and behind the baby’s diaper drawer and in the stroller. I hid them in my shoes. I lied. I made sure I looked well put-together. I never asked for help. It’s true that sometimes, I thought I should probably kill myself to prevent something bad from happening but, again, planning a suicide would mean admitting that something was going to happen.

I knew, too, that my drinking would catch up with me. It would be only a matter of time before I got sloppy, before my brain got too fogged up by too much booze, before I threw routines out the window. As I drank, I kept looking at the stairs. They felt symbolic. Upstairs, I was a good mom but downstairs I was a drunk. I imagined myself in a blackout, climbing up, taking my son out of the crib. And carrying my son as I walked down those tall, polished-white, slippery oak stairs.

There is the famous story that New York Times writer David Carr tells in his memoir The Night of the Gun about driving to his dealer’s house (Kenny’s) with his baby daughters and leaving them in a car for hours as he did drugs. He wrote, “God had looked after the twins, and by proxy me, but I realized at that moment that I was in the midst of a transgression He could not easily forgive. I made a decision never to be that man again.” This is the famous story but the part that I can relate to best is this short passage: “Sometime soon after that night at Kenny’s…I became convinced that something brutal and unspeakable was about to land on all of us, including the kids.” Carr entered treatment shortly afterwards.

Like Carr, I, too, was in the midst of a transgression watching those stairs. I could picture what could happen but I still couldn’t admit it. And the truth is, if anyone asked me if I needed help, I’d say, “I’m fine, there’s nothing wrong.” Yes, I realized I was in the midst of a transgression but no epiphany followed. There was no God to intervene; no clear-cut insight that would make me stop. I was unstoppable. The only hope I had left was that I might also be wrong about that.

See, foresight doesn’t always work. And even people trying to stop you are weaker than the addiction. Toni Medrano’s husband found her passed out on the couch on that fateful night and warned her about falling asleep with the baby next to her. Who knows what she said but she probably told him things were fine—that’s what I often said to my husband too. Everything is fine. (Help.) Everything is fine. Or maybe she even told him she wasn’t going to do it and she did it anyway. In the morning, her husband woke up to her yelling, "The baby is dead!"

I wrote a book about my experience as a drunk mom, which will be published in the spring. I wrote it for all kinds of reasons, the main one being so that I could try to understand how my love for my son was no match for addiction. My husband, who read the manuscript recently, said he would have had my son removed from my care right in the beginning of my relapse, had he known. Had he looked inside of the lining of my purse, the potted plants on the deck? Behind the baby’s diaper drawer? The lining of the stroller canopy? The point is, he wouldn’t have known, he wouldn’t have stood a chance against my hiding. As for me, there was no way I would’ve confessed out loud to the screaming in my head.

I eventually got sober under rather mundane circumstances: I broke a toe, my husband asked me to move out, it was summer. There was no voice from the sky, no decisions. The hope came over me simply and suddenly, completely unprovoked as I limped toward the park with my son in the stroller one sunny morning. My husband will tell you I got sober because he threatened to kick me out. But really? It could’ve been the nice weather, it could’ve been the little toe. It was not my son in my stroller. He was just lucky. I was just lucky. We lived. The epiphanies came only after I got sober.
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Jowita Bydlowska is a Toronto-based writer who has previously published articles about such topics as addiction, motherhood, sex, mental illness and healthy eating in various publications such as Salon, The Globe and Mail, Huffington Post, Oxygen and more. She has a book coming out in 2013 about being a drunk mom. She also wrote about her agnostic version of AA for The Fix.

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Normal St. Paul Park police report details mom's death after 'Nancy Grace'

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:44 pm

By Megan Boldt
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Posted: 08/13/2012 12:01:00 AM CDT
Updated: 08/13/2012 05:16:17 PM CDT

Toni Medrano's mother and sister sat up with her until 3:15 a.m. on July 2, talking the Cottage Grove woman down from suicidal thoughts until they were comfortable she was feeling better.

But less than an hour later, they and Medrano's stepfather awoke to her screams. Medrano, 29, was in her sister's kitchen, her skin burned and smoking. She had set herself on fire.

A police report released Monday, Aug. 13, detailed Medrano's last moments and how she told her family and a paramedic that she wanted to die. She did on July 7, about a month after a national television host dubbed her the "vodka mom" after it was alleged she was responsible for the death of her 3-week-old son.

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's office has ruled her death a suicide.

Attorney Mike Padden, who has been hired by Medrano's family, said this information confirms what they knew -- that Medrano killed herself after a segment of the "Nancy Grace" show aired on the HLN network June 11 and nicknamed her "the vodka mom," a moniker that was picked up by news outlets across the nation.

The HLN network is part of CNN Worldwide.

"We knew this was a suicide. It's no surprise," Padden said. "Now, we can move ahead and try to negotiate a settlement with CNN before pursuing litigation."

On the night of Nov. 21, 2011, Medrano allegedly drank a fifth of vodka before falling asleep on a couch next to the baby. About 10:30 a.m. the next day, police received a call that the baby was dead.

According to an autopsy, he was smothered.

Medrano was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter on June 7.

The "Nancy Grace" segment aired four days later.

According to the St. Paul Park police report, Medrano had been out drinking with her sister, Maria Phillips, and a family friend and got to her sister's house about 1:30 a.m. on July 2. Her mother, Yvonne Hill, and stepfather also were staying there.

Hill said Medrano started saying things like "she wanted to walk down to the railroad tracks and end it all."

Hill and Phillips told her it was not worth it, and they said Medrano started feeling better. When they went to bed, Medrano was watching television.

The family found Medrano 45 minutes later, naked with burns all over her body standing by the kitchen sink with the water running. Hill said they grabbed her, threw her in the shower and called 911. She was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

According to the report, Medrano gained access to a locked garage to get lighter fluid and set herself on fire in the back yard.

Among the items collected at the scene was a book that belonged to Medrano entitled "You Can Heal Your Life." On page 31, there was an entry dated July 2 that granted her mother custody of her three children from previous relationships. She had three children with her husband, including the baby that died last year.

Medrano told one of the medics on the way to the hospital that she was going through a lot and lit herself on fire to kill herself.

A similar case in 2006 involving the "Nancy Grace" show resulted in an out-of-court settlement of $200,000.

In that case, according to ABC News, a Leesburg, Fla., mother told police her baby was missing. Local police considered her a possible suspect. The woman appeared on "Nancy Grace," where she was intensely interrogated. One week later, she killed herself.

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by hnyb on Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:05 pm

Oh so everybody that Nancy Grace ever said anything against is now going to commit suicide and their families are going to sue?

Do you know how many people that would be?
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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:06 pm

ROMLFAO!!!! Thousands! IMHO

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:09 pm

hnyb wrote:Oh so everybody that Nancy Grace ever said anything against is now going to commit suicide and their families are going to sue?

Do you know how many people that would be?
lol thumbs up
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Normal Attorney wants family paid for Nancy Grace show treatment

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:04 am

Published August 23, 2012, 08:54 AM

By: Scott Wente , Pierce County Herald

Toni A. Medrano’s relatives blame a national talk show host in connection with the Cottage Grove woman’s decision to burn herself to death.

Police reports released recently indicate that Medrano, the mother who was criminally charged in her newborn son’s suffocation death last year, made suicidal statements to relatives hours before she lit herself on fire at a St. Paul Park home last month.

An attorney for Medrano’s family says crime talk show host Nancy Grace intentionally inflicted emotional distress on the 29-year-old mother and defamed her in a nationally televised segment in which Grace pilloried Medrano for reportedly drinking heavily before rolling over on her sleeping newborn.

Attorney Michael Padden said in an interview that Grace’s treatment of Medrano was “unbelievably shocking” and defamatory. He said he is attempting to negotiate a cash settlement with CNN, the parent company of the HLN network that airs Grace’s show and will consider suing the network if a deal is not negotiated.

Padden said Medrano watched the Nancy Grace segment, in which Medrano was labeled “Vodka Mom” and Grace suggested she should face first-degree murder charges. Medrano was affected by that and by how her story was handled by other national media and comments posted to Facebook and other online sites.

Padden declined to specify how much money he is seeking from the network, but said there is precedent for a settlement. In 2010, Grace reached a settlement with the family of a Florida woman who four years prior shot herself the day after Grace aggressively questioned her in an interview about the disappearance of her son.

An autopsy report concluded Medrano’s 3-week-old son died of suffocation in November 2011. At the time, Medrano told police she had consumed a bottle of vodka before falling asleep with the infant on a couch in their Cottage Grove home. She got up hours later to find her son unresponsive.

In June, Medrano was charged in Washington County District Court with felony manslaughter and accused of negligence in connection with her son’s death.

After the charges were filed, Grace spotlighted Medrano’s case on her criminal justice talk show that focuses on high-profile cases. Grace poured glasses of vodka while interviewing guests and shouting statements about Medrano’s drinking.

“Did Mommy booze it up and kill her baby?” Grace said.

Padden said the segment was defamatory because Medrano was not a public figure and there was no evidence to back up the suggestion that Medrano deserved first-degree murder charges.

“It’s just unbelievably shocking and it’s defamatory,” Padden said. “It’s not really a rocket science argument: you’ve got to be careful about what you say to people.”

Padden said he expects to know within about 45 days whether a settlement will be reached.

“We are attempting resolution; we’ll see what happens,” he said.

A spokeswoman for CNN said the network would not comment on the Medrano case or whether it is negotiating a possible settlement with Padden.

New details of Medrano’s death emerged in final investigation reports released last week by the St. Paul Park Police Department.

Medrano had been drinking in downtown St. Paul Park with her sister and a friend before returning to her mother and father-in-law’s Chicago Avenue home around 1:30 p.m. July 2. Her mother said Medrano “had been dealing with many personal issues for the last few months” and that she made a comment that she “wanted to walk down to the railroad tracks and end it all,” according to the report.

Her mother said that she and Medrano’s sister talked to Medrano until about 3:15 a.m. and went to bed believing Medrano was feeling better.

Less than an hour later, police reports show, Medrano’s mother, sister and father-in-law were awakened by screams and found Medrano standing naked in the kitchen with severe burns all over her body. They put her in the shower and called 911.

Outside, they found two fires burning in the backyard, a bottle of charcoal lighter fluid and a book belonging to Medrano titled “You Can Heal Your Life.” A page in the book had writing from Medrano stating that her mother was to have custody of three of her children.

The reports indicate Medrano had used keys to enter a locked garage, where she obtained lighter fluid she used when he light herself on fire. Medrano told her mother and paramedics that she was trying to kill herself.

Medrano was rushed to Regions Hospital but died five days later.

St. Paul Park Police Chief Mike Monahan said his department’s investigation of Medrano’s death is closed.

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by raine1953 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:44 pm

We saw this lawsuit coming. I bet CNN settles but I don't thing NG had anything to do with this already messed up female taking her own life. MOO.
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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:48 pm

I agree she was messed up and NG ran that segment months after this had happened. The family is saying it was the straw that broke the camels back. I saw it live and posted I thought NG needed to imbibe to chill out having no clue what this would turn into.

I am not blaming NG but I do think the way she demeaned Toni didn't help either.

CNN had to shell out 200K on the Melinda Duckett suicide. Wonder why CNN "settled". Just sayin.

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by raine1953 on Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:51 pm

I also saw that particular show and I thought NG was an idiot for what she did w/ the vodka bottle and cup. She didn't learn (obviously) from the M. Duckett case but I still don't think she made anyone kill themselves. Geez, I really don't like defending NG! over reaction
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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:02 pm

I agree but she sure didn't help this already troubled soul.

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Normal CNN Settles With Family Of Woman Who Killed Herself

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:28 am

January 5, 2013 11:02 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - CNN has settled with the family of a Minnesota mother who set herself on fire after she was called “Vodka Mom” on Nancy Grace’s show

Police say Toni Medrano drank a fifth of vodka before falling asleep on a sofa with her 3-week-old son next to her.

She woke the next morning to find the child dead. Family members claimed she killed herself after appearing on the show.

Jason Medrano says his wife Toni was never the same after an appearance on Grace’s show, where she was dubbed “Vodka Mom” by the host.

“She was like, ‘She called me a murderer,’ and it started sinking in, and all the comments – it took a big toll,” Jason said.

Family members say Medrano became distant, changed her hair, wore hats and sunglasses and refused to go out in public.

Less than a month after the Nancy Grace show featured her, Medrano committed suicide by lighting herself on fire in the backyard of her mother’s home.

They believe after the show, she went into a tailspin from which she never recovered.

The family’s attorney, Michael Padden, says an agreement has been made between the Medranos and CNN.

“We were able to settle a case short of having to commence a lawsuit,” Padden said.

Padden was unable to go over details of the settlement when WCCO spoke with him by phone Saturday as both sides agreed to a non-disclosure clause.

“My clients are happy that the matter is resolved,” Padden said.

The settlement is subject to a judge’s approval of the amount both parties agreed on. That will be determined in a hearing set for Jan. 17.


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video above link.

I am NOT saying it was NG's fault that Mrs. Medrano took her life, especially in such a horrible way. But this is NOT NG's first rodeo w/a lawsuit where someone has taken their life after appearing on her show and the family states it is due to the tv appearance and the things NG said. I guess she brings in HUGE viewership/ratings so CNN keeps paying someone to settle things and allows NG to keep on running her mouth. I do NOT think she should have dubbed this mother "vodka mom".I thought that from the beginning as you can see from my first post. And, taking a 5th of vodka and seeing how many shots she could get out of it was way over the top. my 2 cents

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:03 am

'Nancy Grace' show, Cottage Grove woman's family settle suicide lawsuit

By Megan Boldt
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Posted: 01/04/2013 12:01:00 AM CST
Updated: 01/04/2013 11:41:18 PM CST

Relatives of a Cottage Grove mother who killed herself after being ridiculed on national television as "the vodka mom" reached an out-of-court settlement with the network in connection with her death.

Attorney Mike Padden, who represents Toni Medrano's family, said the settlement agreement with CNN Worldwide, the parent company of the show "Nancy Grace," was being filed in Dakota County District Court on Friday, Jan. 4.

He declined further comment, saying the parties are bound by a nondisclosure clause that keeps terms of the settlement out of the public record.

Medrano achieved national notoriety after it was alleged she was responsible for the death of her 3-week-old son.

On the night of Nov. 21, 2011, Medrano allegedly drank a fifth of vodka before falling asleep on a couch next to the baby. About 10:30 a.m. the next day, police received a call that the baby was dead. According to an autopsy, he was smothered.

The mother was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter on June 7. Four days later, on a segment of "Nancy Grace," Medrano was ridiculed and dubbed "the vodka mom" -- a nickname that was repeated by news outlets across the country.

Family members said Medrano had been suicidal, and on July 2, they found the 29-year-old in her sister's kitchen, her skin burned and smoking. She had set herself on fire.

Medrano died five days later, and the Ramsey County medical examiner's office ruled her death a suicide.

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by raine1953 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:19 am

By Wrap: I am NOT saying it was NG's fault that Mrs. Medrano took her life, especially in such a horrible way. But this is NOT NG's first rodeo w/a lawsuit where someone has taken their life after appearing on her show and the family states it is due to the tv appearance and the things NG said. I guess she brings in HUGE viewership/ratings so CNN keeps paying someone to settle things and allows NG to keep on running her mouth. I do NOT think she should have dubbed this mother "vodka mom".I thought that from the beginning as you can see from my first post. And, taking a 5th of vodka and seeing how many shots she could get out of it was way over the top.
As much as I loathe NG in no way do I think she 'made' this female take her life BUT at the same time, ratings or not isn't it time someone up high at CNN had a little talk with her? I would think NG would have at least a tiny bit of doubt enough to not ridicule another Mother accused of doing something to their child! I saw that episode where she had the vodka bottle and all she went thru' to belittle the Mom and at the time I thought it was horrible and that NG looked like a complete ass doing it. I agree, it was way over the top!!!!!
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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:42 am

Big time over the top!!! I was horrified at NG w/that vodka bottle. That's why I said I think she needs to chill out and start imbibing!! It and she were ridiculous and I agree that the CNN higher ups need to sit her down. But, I doubt she would shut up long enough for them to get a word in edgewise.

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Post by raine1953 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:44 am

I wish they'd just fire her and get it over with. Oh darn, did I just say that? shocked3
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Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:50 am

Yup, you did.

I use to catch Holy Hell on another website for saying negative things about NG. Bonnie can attest to that. I never was a fan of hers but ONLY watched her primarily for the CA trial. Had watched her a bit before but always thought she was a huge drama queen and she's gotten worse. Seems now most peeps can't stand her. my 2 cents

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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:53 am

raine1953 wrote:I wish they'd just fire her and get it over with. Oh darn, did I just say that? shocked3
It's ALL about ratings, ratings and more ratings. She will Never be fired..she's drawing in a huge audience w/her floundering arms and her air quotes, admonishing the attorneys and making mountains out of molehills. Oh, and let's not forget she's a Victim..and then there are the twins.

Wonder what ever happened to "Sheba from Illinois". She was conveniently getting through at least twice a week. And poor Natisha Lance Finally got away from her. crazy3

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Post by raine1953 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:54 am

I don't know how anyone at all can work with her! I know she's a big asset to CNN with the ratings. I do not understand why people buy into her. JMOO!
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Normal Re: Toni Medrano drank vodka & smothered her newborn. Update 0710/12: Mother, Toni Medrano set herself on fire & died. She became completely despondent after watching NG where she was called "Vodka Mom".Update: CNN has settled lawsuit against NG.

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:56 am

Cause the LOVE her drama and her Southern ways. MOO.

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