An Ohio woman drenched in gasoline and set on fire by her former fiancé has died.
Judy Malinowski died Tuesday after suffering burns to over 80 percent of her body and having over 56 surgeries. The mother of two had her fingers and parts of her ears burnt off during the inferno. Due to irreparable damage to her trachea she could barely speak above a raspy whisper.
The 33-year-old was set on fire by her ex-boyfriend, Michael Slager, after an argument at a Gahanna, Ohio, gas station in August 2015. The 41-year-old claimed that it was a horrific mistake, adding that he accidentally sparked the blaze when he lit a cigarette. During his trial, his attorney, Douglas Shaw insisted that Slager loved his fiancé and meant no harm, adding that he was injured as well while trying to douse the flames.
Malinowski was permanently confined to her bed over the two-year period before her death because she was too weak to move. The 33-year-old mother also needed the help of a ventilator to breathe properly. According to People magazine, doctors found it difficult to close the gaping wounds on Judy’s buttocks and back because she could not lay on her stomach over the course of her multiple surgeries.
Slager pleaded no contest to charges of aggravated arson, felonious assault and possession of criminal tools. He was given a maximum sentence of 11 years in December 2015. The lenient sentence resulted in a bill named after Malinowski to be introduced into the Ohio House. The bill was unanimously passed in May. Judy’s Law is a bill that increases the sentence of someone who purposely uses an accelerant to disfigure another person. If the bill is passed by the Senate, six years will be added to Slager’s previous 11-year sentence.
Before her death, Judy Malinowski stopped getting medical treatment and was moved to a palliative care facility. Judy’s mother revealed the bill was one of the reasons her daughter remained alive and kept on fighting, adding that when God decided it was time for her to go, she would accept it.
“To Judy it would be worth all of the fight, I’m sure of it. To me, it’s amazing because she will live on through that forever and ever through the state and she is truly the face of domestic violence. I will not give up until God says it’s time to give up.”
Following Judy Malinowski’s death, Prosecutor Ron O’Brien told NBC4 that his office would be opening murder charges against Michael Slager. The mother-of-two had recorded a deposition in the event of her death.
“It would be our intention, and it has been all along that should she pass away it was our intention to pursue a homicidal charge. This day was not unexpected for probably a long time, but it’s sad that it finally arrived.”
Judy Malinowski successfully quit drugs and survived ovarian cancer before the incident that led to hear death.
[Featured Image by DeoSum/Thinkstock]