A mother of two who was set on fire two years ago by her at-the-time fiancé has finally succumbed to her injuries, according to Columbus’ NBC4. 33-year-old Judy Malinowski never left the hospital and endured 59 different medical operations after Michael Slager poured gasoline over her head and set her on fire outside a Gahanna, Ohio gas station in August 2015. “That child suffered for two years to tell her own story, who has the strength to do it?,” Malinowski mother’s Bonnie Bowes told NBC3 Tuesday afternoon.
Slager claimed the fire was an “accident,” and that he was taking Malinowski to a drug treatment center when the mishap occurred. However, security cameras caught him dousing her with a liquid and witnesses saw the couple fighting before Slager flicked a lit cigarette at Malinowski and she was engulfed in flames. According to investigators, as reported by Columbus’ 10TV, Slager had a lengthy criminal record which included nine felony charges, one of which was for sexual battery. Slager pleaded guilty to aggravated arson last December and received the maximum sentence possible; 11 years in prison.
Following the attack, Ohio lawmakers introduced a bill to create tougher sentencing guidelines for attacks which permanently disfigure or disable their victims. They named it “Judy’s Law.” The bill passed unanimously in May and is on the verge of becoming state law. Speaking of Slager’s comparatively light sentence, Judy’s oldest daughter, 13-year-old Kaylyn Malinowski, said at a hearing last week, “While he got 11 years, my mom, my sister and I all got a life sentence.”
Before losing the ability to speak as a result of her injuries, Judy Malinowski spoke out about the dangers of domestic abuse, advising victims to “find help, and get out completely. Run the other way. Run." She also recorded a sealed deposition, to be used as evidence in a future trial in the event of her death. Authorities are now preparing to pursue aggravated murder charges against Slager, according to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, which carries with it a potential life sentence.
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