COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio woman set on fire by her ex-boyfriend and whose injuries prompted legislation that would allow longer sentences for crimes that permanently maim or disfigure victims has died. She was 33.
Judy Malinowski — a mother, daughter, sister and high school beauty queen — has died after being hospitalized for nearly two years, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien confirmed Tuesday.
O’Brien said his office is working with Gahanna police and the original arson investigator to determine whether a homicide case can be pursued.
Michael Slager, the man accused of dousing Malinowski with gasoline in August 2015, pleaded no contest to charges including aggravated arson and felonious assault and was convicted in 2016. He was sentenced to the maximum 11 years in prison.
The legislation inspired by Malinowski’s injuries and approved by the Ohio House is now in the Senate.
With the help of a speaking valve and via video, she pushed for the law, CNN affiliate WBNS reports.
“It’s destroyed my life, my family’s life, my kids’ life — everyone around us life,” she said. “And the laws of justice are just not fair.”
When Malinkowski could no longer speak, her 13-year-old daughter did.
“Please pass my mom’s law because together we can prevent these types of situations,” she said. “We can prevent this from happening to other families.”
Doctors told Malinkowski from the beginning that she likely would not survive her injuries. But in the two years since that horrific day, she’s reclaimed her story.
“I want to tell people how horrible something like this can be,” she said. “And if you’re in an abusive relationship, find help, and get out completely. Run the other way. Run.”
The Associated Press and CNN Wire contributed to this report.