Toni Annette Medrano (pictured), the Minnesota woman who allegedly suffocated her 3-week-old infant son by sleeping on him after drinking a heavy amount of vodka last November, has died after setting herself on fire, the Pioneer Press reports.
Medrano’s tragic suicide comes less than one month after she was torched as a horrible mother on a June 11 segment of the “Nancy Grace” show on the NLN cable news channel. As NewsOne reported on June 9, Medrano was charged with manslaughter after allegedly drinking a fifth of vodka before falling asleep on her son, subsequently smothering him to death. The show dubbed Medrano as the “Vodka Mom.”
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On July 2, she doused herself with a flammable liquid and set herself ablaze in her mother’s backyard. She was rushed to a local hospital where she died five days later. Police said she was “despondent and suicidal over personal issues.”
Her Husband, Jason Medrano, felt the segment was cruel.
“The things people said were horrible,” he said outside his townhome Monday, July 9. “It shows that cyberbullying happens to adults, too.”
The Pioneer Press has more on this story:
It’s happened before — with the same show.
According to ABC News, a Leesburg, Fla., mother told police in 2006 that her baby was missing. Police considered her a possible suspect. She appeared on “Nancy Grace,” where she was intensely interrogated. The woman killed herself about one week later.
Attempts on Monday to contact representatives of the show and its parent CNN were unsuccessful.
Is the show — hosted by legal commentator and former prosecutor
Nancy Ann Grace — to blame?
Not directly, said Chris Ison, professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.
It’s impossible to know the motivations of suicidal people, so no news program can be blamed for a suicide.