"Vodka Mom" Kills Herself After TV Shaming

By McCarton Ackerman 07/11/12

The alcoholic woman was vilified by Nancy Grace after accidentally killing her newborn son earlier this year.

Was Nancy Grace too harsh? Photo via

A Minneapolis woman who was vilified by CNN host Nancy Grace on national television has died after setting herself on fire in her mother's backyard. Toni Medrano, 29, accidentally killed her three-week old son last November, when she drunkenly rolled onto him while sleeping on the couch and crushed him. The woman, who became known as "Vodka Mom," admitted to drinking a fifth of vodka before going to sleep—her blood alcohol level was at .11 (.08 is the limit for driving). Medrano had reportedly been suicidal over personal issues, but had been seeking help for alcoholism and parenting counseling. However, when Grace got hold of the story after Medrano was charged last month with two counts of manslaughter, she lambasted the woman on her show and theorized that the baby had been "crushed" for hours. "There was a long period of time that baby’s life could have been saved," Grace said, before claiming there should be murder one charges for premeditated murder. Grace also held up a fifth of cheap vodka and said she was going to see how many glasses she could get out of the bottle, pouring at least nine in the segment as the words "vodka mom" appeared on the screen. Nancy Grace and CNN haven't responded to requests for comment.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.