An Ohio woman who died two years after she was doused with gasoline and set alight has been allowed to “testify” about her own death during her ex-boyfriend’s murder trial.
Judy Malinowski, 33, recorded a testimony against her accused murderer Michael Slager, 42, five months before she died in June 2017.
A Franklin County judge made a decision on Friday, April 13, to allow the tape recording to be played during the murder trial.
“Judy fought to tell her story,” Malinowski’s mother Bonnie Bowes told NBC 4. “I think it’s the first step towards what her legacy should and will be.”
Malinowski was set ablaze by her then-boyfriend Slager in 2015 behind a gas station in Gahanna, a Columbus suburb. She lost both of her ears and two fingers in the attack and had open wounds on her back and buttocks, reported Fox News.
Bowes said her daughter suffered 3rd and 4th-degree burns that covered about 90 percent of her body. She underwent 56 surgeries before she died.
Slager was subsequently sentenced to 11 years in prison after pleading no contest in 2016 to charges including felonious assault and aggravated arson, according to the news station.
After Malinowski succumbed to her injuries, a grand jury indicted the 42-year-old on aggravated murder and murder charges. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Slager’s defense attorney argued that by admitting the tape into the trial, Slager’s right to confrontation would be violated.
However, the judge said the main purpose of confrontation is for the opponent to have the opportunity of cross-examination, which had occurred during the recording to the deposition. He added that two-thirds of the 86 pages of Malinowski’s deposition was cross-examination.
Slager’s trial will begin in July.