Ms Malinowski was hospitalised for nearly two years after the attack (Picture: Courtesy WSYX) A mum-of-two who died nearly two years after her boyfriend set her on fire will testify from beyond the grave. Judy Malinowski’s testimony, recorded five months before she died, will… pic.twitter.com/JanHTWcFwd— NEWS UPDATE (@GetNewsUpdates) April 14, 2018
In 2015, a woman died after her boyfriend reportedly set her on fire outside a gas station in Columbus, Ohio. In a landmark ruling, she will testify at his murder trial from beyond the grave.
Judy Malinowski, 33, was torched by her boyfriend, Michael Slager. After living for two years in excruciating pain, she died in 2017. While she was in hospital, prosecutors began preparing a murder case against Slager after doctors informed them the woman wouldn’t be able to survive her injuries.
The mother of two then recorded a video from her hospital bed before she died. Now, in a first, a judge has ruled the video interview of the woman can be heard by the jury.
Slager’s murder trial will begin in July 2018.
As a result of the horrifying incident, Malinowski suffered burns to 80 percent of her body. She spent the next two years that she lived in a hospital where she underwent 56 agonizing surgeries. The attack also left her without her ears, hair and two fingers.
Malinowski’s trachea was also severely injured in the attack which made it difficult for to speak. She then used whispers and nods to put her message across.
Slager’s attorneys tried their best to stop the judge from allowing the recorded tape to be used as evidence in the murder trial and said prosecutors had compiled it improperly. However, the judge dismissed the claim and allowed the woman’s testimony to be played in court.
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
Before Malinowski died, she spoke to the media from the hospital.
“I never knew that a human being could be so evil. He just stood there and did nothing. God please, please help me,” she said while struggling to speak.
Bonnie Bowes, the woman’s mother, said her daughter was sure her video recording would be used in Slager’s murder trial.
“To me, it was whether or not Judy’s voice was going to be heard. Judy went through this traumatic experience and she went to her grave thinking that the judicial system would unseal her side of the story. So it was really important to me that that happens,” she said.
On the other hand, Slager has repeatedly said that the heinous incident was an accident and happened by mistake while he was lighting a cigarette.
The landmark ruling will now set a precedent for future cases and trials in the state as victims will now be able to testify themselves in murder trials.
Judge Guy Reece said the case was the first of its kind.
“The state wanted to preserve her testimony due to her fragile medical condition. She was critically ill and was the only witness who could testify about the events that transpired on the day of her injury,” he said.
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