Malinowski’s ex-boyfriend Michael Slager is serving 11 years in prison, having been convicted lasted of aggravated n court for his sentencing, Dec 2016
An Ohio woman who survived for nearly two years after being covered in flames at a gas station in 2015, leaving her with burns on about 90 percent of her body, was able to testify against her accused attacker before she died last summer.
On Friday, a judge ruled that her recorded testimony can be used at the upcoming murder trial of Judy Malinowski’s 43-year-old ex-boyfriend Michael Slager,
43-year-old Slager from Gahanna, Ohio who was accused of throwing gasoline on his girlfriend and setting her on fire behind a gas station was later convicted of the crime.
Judy Malinowski died, never recovering from the depraved arson attack by ex-boyfriend , Michael Slager
Malinowski, a mother of two daughters, died on June 27 at 33 having never recovered from the arson attack by Slager, then her estranged boyfriend, on Aug. 2, 2015.
An eye-witness said the pair appeared to have been arguing beforehand, a fact that contradicted his initial defence that the whole incident was a tragic incident.
Malinowski’s ex-boyfriend Michael Slager in court for his sentencing, Dec 2016
After pleading no contest, the judge found Slager guilty of aggravated arson, felonious assault and possession of criminal tools.
He was sentenced to serve 11 years in prison.
At the time the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office has said it will seek murder charges against Michael Slager should Malinowski die from her injuries.
The parties in the case think it will be the first time that a homicide victim will testify in his or her own murder trial.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that Judge Guy Reece noted that despite the unprecedented nature of the case, JudyMalinowski’s video deposition did not violate Slager’s rights because his attorneys were given the opportunity to conduct an extensive cross-examination of the victim.
Reacting to the decision to allow the victim’s testimony at trial, Slager’s defense attorney Mark Collins says he believes the decision is a first for the state and possibly the nation.
“She may be the only victim to testify in their own murder trial,” he says.
Ron O’Brien, the Franklin County prosecutor, said not being able to use the testimony would not have crippled their case, “but certainly we think it enhances our ability to present what happened that day,” .
While “a criminal defendant’s right to confrontation is of paramount importance,” the judge oberved, “The defendant in this case did have an opportunity to confront the accuser, to subject her to cross-examination,” Judge Reece said.
Judy Malinowski before and after the felonious arson attack by Michael Slager
Malinowski’s testimony was reportedly recorded five months before she succumbed to her injuries, following a January 2017 court order allowing her to be deposed under civil procedure.
An attorney for Slager was present at the time and, according to local TV station WCMH, two-thirds of her testimony was cross-examination by the defense, a fact the judge noted in ruling it admissible at the murder trial.
What’s more, the judge said, ‘Malinowski underwent extensive mental examination finding her competent before she testified’
Bonnie Bowes, seen here with her bedridden daughter says she’s “so grateful that Judy can tell her story”. Malinowski endured multiple surgeries after the attack until she died two years later
Malinowski’s mother, Bonnie Bowes, said she was “so grateful that Judy can tell her story … She went to her grave thinking that the judicial system would unseal her side of the story,” the Dispatch reports.
“Judy fought to tell her story,” Bowes said, according to WCMH. “I think it’s the first step towards what her legacy should and will be.”
Six months before her death Judy Malinowski took steps to ensure her voice could be heard even after her death. In January, 2017 shey recorded a sealed deposition that could be used against Michael Slager in the case of her demise.
Bowes said that in her deposition Malinowski “was extremely frail and she was burned, but yet could very clearly articulate what happened, where she was, fear, everything that you would expect. I’m so proud of her and I know one day I’ll see her, although my heart will be forever broken without her.”
Judy, a cancer survivor, reportedly could only whisper because her throat was damaged in the blaze, had said of Slager: “I never knew that a human being could be so evil. He just stood there and did nothing. The look in his eyes was pure evil.”