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'Vodka Mom' Burns Herself to Death After Extreme Media Scrutiny

Tue, July 10, 2012 5:28pm EDT by HL Intern 19 Comments
Vodka Mom Kills Herself

The mother, who killed her 3-week-old son after drunkenly passing out on him in 2011, killed herself, just one month after Nancy Grace ridiculed her carelessness on her talk show.

Toni Medrano, 29, lit herself on fire in the backyard of her Minnesota home last Monday after covering herself in flammable liquid.

The young mother, dubbed ‘Vodka Mom,’ was charged with manslaughter in the death of her newborn son Adrian, whom she passed out on while drunk in November of 2011. Toni faced two counts of second degree manslaughter, one charge for ‘culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk’ and a second for ‘committing or attempting to commit a violation’. If convicted, she would have faced 10 years in prison.

According to the Daily Mail, Toni had consumed an entire fifth of vodka when she fell asleep on the coach with the baby between her and the cushions.

The drunken mother allegedly woke up and fed the newborn at 3 a.m. She then went back to sleep and didn’t wake up until her other children were getting ready to go to school. It was not until 10:30 am that she realized that Adrian was cold and purple.

Toni and her husband called 911 and tried to revive the baby, but he was pronounced dead on arrival at the Woodwinds Hospital. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the death “asphyxia due to being laid upon while sleeping with an adult.” Toni was tested and her blood alcohol content was 0.11.

Toni’s story was featured on the talk show Nancy Grace. The show revealed  that the amount she had consumed was equal to 17 vodka drinks.

“She’s waking up and she is so drunk off a fifth of vodka, she doesn’t even know her baby is laying there dead beside her,” Nancy Grace said. A doctor on Nancy Grace said that the baby had probably been dead for hours due to the purple coloring of his skin, which is a sign that blood had been pooling in the body.

Nancy added that Toni had a history of drinking heavily, including two DWI’s in one month. After her feature on Nancy Grace, Tony became the subject of ridicule on the internet.

— Caroline Zapatero

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