Wii-contest DJs could face criminal charges
New information comes to light from audio recordings of the show; Sheriff opens investigation into the death of mother-of-three Jennifer Strange.
Jennifer Strange, who lived in Rancho Cordova, had been trying to win one of Nintendo's new consoles for her kids. During the competition, which challenged contestants to drink as much water as they could without going to the bathroom, she got through an estimated two gallons of water.
After the radio show, she called in sick to work, and was later found dead at her suburban home by her mother. The initial findings of the coroner said the death appeared to be consistent with water intoxication.
Initially, County Sheriff John McGinness had said that there were no plans to open a criminal investigation, since Ms. Strange had entered the contest on her own free will.
But in audio recordings which have been posted on the Internet, the DJs are heard joking about contestants dying of water intoxication, even referencing the death of Matthew Carrington, a student who died after drinking too much water during a fraternity hazing. A caller, who identified herself as Eva, also phoned in to the show to warn that the stunt could kill, but she was dismissed by being told that contestants had "signed releases, so we're not responsible."
In light of the new information from the audio tapes, an investigation has been launched, stated a spokesperson for the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
Sgt. Timothy Curran said, "We have decided we will open a death investigation which will take weeks and on conclusion our findings will be forwarded to the local district attorney to decide whether to lay criminal charges."
KDND 107.9 has also fired 10 staff, including five on-air personalities, over the incident, as part of its own investigation.