A woman who was hospitalised when her former lover set her on fire has died from her injuries nearly two years after the sick ambush.
Judy Malinowski, 33, from Ohio, died on Tuesday, nearly two years after 41-year-old Michael Slager attacked her at a gas station.
Malinowski, who leaves behind two daughters, aged 9 and 13, suffered third and fourth degree burns over 80 per cent of her body, losing fingers and her ears at the hands of her cruel ex.
Slager initially claimed the attack was an accident caused by a lit cigarette but later pleaded no contest to felonious assault, aggravated arson and possession of criminal tools.
He was jailed for just 11 years, a meagre sentence but it was the maximum permitted to hand down.
The mother-of-two spent the past two years in recovery and underwent 56 surgeries in hospital until she was moved to palliative care in May.
Malinowski couldn’t speak above a whisper due to extensive damage to her trachea, needing a ventilator to help her breathe, and she also lost the ability to walk.
Despite the hardships, Judy was determined to testify against her attacker, but his plea deal scuppered that chance. Prevailing, Judy spoke out about the attack in December, which she described as ‘pure evil’.
During sentencing, Judge Judy Lynch, who jailed Slager, said:
There’s nothing to say to a person like you, Mr Slager. You really do seem like one of those people who have no soul.
Slager could now face murder charges, according to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, and Judy’s testimony will be used against him in court.
Outrage over the initial 11-year sentence has spurred Ohio lawmakers to take action and they’re on the verge of passing a law to increase the penalties for cases like Malinowki’s, where a victim is left permanently disfigured by an accelerant used to set them on fire.
It unanimously passed the Ohio House in May and is now waiting on the Senate. It will be named Judy’s Law after Malinowski.
Malinowski’s eldest daughter Kaylyn, 13, testified last week before an Ohio Senate committee about the bill, saying:
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.
Speaking to victims of domestic abuse from her hospital bed, Ms Malinsowski said:
Get help. Run.
Judy’s family are planning an open funeral so the public can come and pay their respects to this strong woman, who refused to be cowed by domestic violence and is an inspiration to all.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.