Tuesday 20 February 2018

Woman doused in gasoline and set alight by ex dies two years after brutal attack

Judy Malinowski before the attack. Picture: Facebook
Judy Malinowski before the attack. Picture: Facebook

Rebecca Lumley

A young mother who was doused in gasoline and set on fire by her ex-boyfriend has died, nearly two years after the attack.

Judy Malinowski (33) suffered fourth and fifth degree burns on most of her body when she was attacked by Michael Slager (41) outside a petrol station in August 2015.

The Ohio woman suffered extensive damage to her trachea, leaving her unable to speak above a whisper, according to the Daily Mail. Her ears and parts of her fingers were melted off in the attack, and she was left unable to walk.

Ms Malinowski also required a ventilator to breathe.

Judy Malinowski was set on fire by her former partner ABC6/Screengrab
Judy Malinowski was set on fire by her former partner ABC6/Screengrab

She reportedly underwent more than 50 surgeries since the attack, but doctors were unable to heal the open wounds on her back, as she was too weak to lie on her stomach during surgery.

She remained in hospital until May of this year, when she was moved to palliative care.

Her heartbroken mother, Bonnie Bowes, paid tribute to her daughter’s resilience.

She said: “That child suffered for two years to tell her own story, who has the strength to do it?'

Mr Slager originally stated that the incident occurred when he was trying to light a cigarette, but has since pleaded no contest to charges of felonious assault, aggravated arson and possession of criminal tools. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison last December.

Following Ms Malinowski's death on Tuesday however, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said his office is now pursuing murder charges against him

Ms Malinowski was mother to two children, aged 13 and 9 years-old.

Her death comes as Ohio lawmakers consider passing a new law, named after her, on arson attacks.

Judy’s Law would increase the penalties for cases like Ms Malinowski’s, where a victim is left permanently disfigured when an accelerant is used to set them on fire.

It was unanimously passed in the Ohio House in May and is waiting on Senate approval.

Ms Malinowski’s eldest daughter, Kaylyn (13), spoke before the Senate committee last week about the bill.

She said: “While he got 11 years, my mom, my sister and I all got a life sentence. While we stand here today, my mom lays in a hospital bed where she has been for 689 days.”

Before the attack, Ms Malinowski survived ovarian cancer and successfully overcame an opioid drug addiction.

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