A woman who died after being set on fire by her ex-boyfriend will ‘give evidence’ at her own murder trial.
Judy Malinowski, from Ohio was allegedly attacked back in 2015 by former boyfriend Michael Slager outside a petrol station near Columbus, Ohio.
Slager allegedly doused the mother of two in petrol and set her alight, leaving her with fourth and fifth degree burns.
After two years of being treated in hospital – where she underwent 56 operations – Judy passed away in June 2017 as a result of her injuries.
Judy’s devastating injuries included open wounds on her back and buttocks, as well as the loss of her ears and two fingers. Her throat was severely damaged and she was left unable to walk.
However, while receiving treatment, brave Judy was able to give an hour and forty-five minute video taped deposition from her hospital bed, testifying what happened to her.
Judy was also able to speak with reporters about her ordeal, despite her speech being compromised by her damaged throat.
Judy told NBC4i:
I never knew that a human being could be so evil, he just stood there and did nothing.
HISTORIC RULING— Just now, a judge has ruled to allow Judy Malinowski to testify from the grave in the murder trial of her accused killer. FIRST TIME in Ohio history.
— Katie Ferrell (@Katie_Ferrell) April 13, 2018
Citing a legal technicality, Slager’s legal team attempted to stop the deposition tape from being used as evidence; claiming it had been improperly obtained by prosecutors.
However, in what is being described as a historic first in Ohio, Franklin County Judge Guy Reece has now ruled this tape can be used as evidence, allowing Judy to testify from beyond the grave.
Judge Reece has stated how Slager’s rights have not been violated as his attorneys had been afforded the opportunity to cross-examine the alleged victim.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, Judge Reece has said:
A criminal defendant’s right to confrontation is of paramount importance.
The defendant in this case did have an opportunity to confront the accuser, to subject her to cross-examination.
Following the hearing, Judy’s mother Bonnie Bowes made the following comment, according to The Columbus Dispatch:
[I am] 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.
Speaking with NBC, Bonnie said:
Judy fought to tell her story, I think it’s the first step towards what her legacy should and will be.
She 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.
RIGHT NOW: A judge is set to make a decision on whether to allow the deposition of #JudyMalinowski, who died last summer, in the homicide trial of Michael Slager (seen here). @nbc4i pic.twitter.com/ffjUEvmqks
— Olivia Fecteau (@oliviafecteau) April 13, 2018
Although Slager has admitted to pouring gasoline over Judy during an argument, he claims he ignited the gasoline by accident while lighting a cigarette.
Back in December 2016 Slager pleaded no contest to charges of felonious assault, aggravated arson and possession of criminal tools. He was found guilty and sentenced to serve 11 years at the Toledo Correctional Institution.
After Judy’s death last summer, a county grand jury returned a death-penalty indictment against him on charges of aggravated murder. The murder trial will begin in July.
— Lisa Rantala (@rantalawsyx) April 13, 2018
Our thoughts are with the family of Judy Malinowski at this difficult time.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.