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Forum wire service, Published January 04 2013

Deal reached for Minnesota family of woman scorned on cable TV

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. – The family of a Cottage Grove woman who lit herself on fire after she was scorned on national cable TV is set to receive a financial settlement.

An attorney for the family of Toni A. Medrano said Friday a settlement was reached with CNN, the HLN network and the Nancy Grace show. Grace had called Medrano “Vodka Mom” and castigated her during a segment about the woman’s arrest in connection with her infant son’s death. Days later in July 2012, Medrano lit herself on fire outside her mother’s St. Paul Park home and died of the injuries.

The media attention given Medrano stemmed from the suffocation of her infant boy. Authorities said the 3-week-old baby died the night of Nov. 21, 2011, after Medrano had consumed nearly an entire bottle of vodka and fell asleep on a couch with the newborn at their Cottage Grove home. She awoke 10 hours later and the baby was unresponsive.

In June, Medrano was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter in Washington County District Court. After the charges were filed, Medrano’s case was profiled on Grace’s criminal justice talk show. During the segment, Grace said the “Vodka Mom” should have been charged with murder.