Judge to rule if woman set on fire by ex-boyfriend can testify

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – On August 2, 2015, Judy Malinowski was doused with gasoline and set on fire.

“She says she’d never seen such evil as she remembers being engulfed in flames and screaming for help,” said her mother, Bonnie Bowes.

Malinowski was burned on 95 percent of her body. Doctors at OSU’s Wexner Medical Center didn’t think she would survive five hours. But 538 days and 54 surgeries later, she’s continued her fight.

Her ex-boyfriend, Michael Slager, pleaded no contest to aggravated arson and felonious assault in December, accused of setting her on fire. He’s now serving a prison sentence of 11 years. But because he entered a plea of no contest, Malinowski never got to tell her story.

On Friday morning, a Franklin County judge will decide whether Malinowski can give a video deposition. If Malinowski eventually dies from her injuries, prosecutors said, her testimony could be used in a future homicide trial against Slager.

“It is the kind of harm that a victim has suffered that’s even worse than that of any other case I can think of,” said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.

O’Brien noted that if a deposition is granted, Slager could be under a court order to attend so he could be questioned as well.

Malinowski’s mother said she wants to tell her story not only for herself, but for other domestic violence victims.

“I promised her I would fight when she couldn’t fight,” Bowes said. “And whether she’s here or God has another plan for her, you know, that’s my intention.”

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