Woman set on fire by ex-boyfriend gets to tell her story in court


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Judy Malinowski has been waiting for this day for 18 months. While she’s been fighting for her life, she’s also been fighting to tell her story.

Her ex-boyfriend, Michael Slager, is currently serving 11 years in prison after he pleaded no contest to charges of aggravated arson and felonious assault, accused of dousting her with gasoline and setting her on fire.

Until today, Malinowski has never gotten to tell her side of what happened in court.

“I think she really wants to get out her pain,” said Malinowski’s mother Bonnie Bowes.

A Franklin County judge allowed Malinowski to tape her deposition.in case she dies from her injuries. It was recorded from her hospital bed on Thursday, because she cannot physically travel to the courthouse.

“I hope we never have to use it, but if we do I’m happy that there will be some justice… that she’ll be able to say what happened and they’ll be able to unseal it and her story will be told, whether she’s here or not,” said Bowes.

She said her daughter has been preparing for this day for a long time.

“It was that important to her that she was willing to give up actual quality of breathing and air to be able to give her testimony and have it sealed if she succumbs to her injuries,” she said.

If she dies from her injuries, Slager could face murder charges and Malinowski’s testimony could be used in a future trial.

“She said, ‘Mom, not even a worm should suffer like this,’ and she can finally say it,” said Bowes.

Bowes said 95% of her daughter’s body is covered in third and fourth-degree burns. She said doctors gave her no more than five hours to live over a year ago. Today her daughter is still fighting for her life and has made it her mission to warn others about domestic violence.

Malinowski and Bowes are also fighting to pass Judy’s Law, which would increase the maximum sentence for aggravated arson in the case a person is burned.

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