Having been denied the opportunity to testify at the trial of her ex-boyfriend about the night he doused her with gasoline and set her alight, an Ohio woman summoned the media to her hospital room to talk about the nightmare she’s been living.
On Monday, Michael Slager, 41, pleaded no contest to charges of aggravated arson, felonious assault and possession of criminal tools in the August 2015 attack targeting his then-girlfriend, Judy Malinowski.
A judge in Columbus then found the Gahanna man guilty and gave him the maximum sentence of 11 years in prison.
Malinowski, 33, who has spent the past 16 months in the hospital recovering from her life-threatening injuries, had been determined to testify against Slager, but Monday’s plea deal foiled her plan.
So instead, Malinowski spoke to the station WSYX about the attack from her hospital bed at OSU Wexner Medical Center.
Recounting the moment Slager poured gasoline on her during an argument behind a Speedway gas station in Gahanna on the evening of August 2, 2015, Malinowski said the look in his eyes was ‘pure evil.’
‘I never knew that a human being could be so evil. He just stood there and did nothing,’ Malinowski told NBC4i.
Slager has always maintained that he set Malinowski on fire by accident while trying to light a cigarette. His attorney argued that he also suffered severe burns while trying to extinguish the flames.
In court Monday, Slager’s father, Harold, said of his son: ‘He loves Judy,’ according to the Columbus Dispatch.
But Judge Judy Lynch rejected the defendant’s version of events, telling him during his sentencing: ‘There’s nothing to say to a person like you, Mr Slager. You really do seem like one of those people who have no soul.’
The arson attack left the mother-of-two with fourth- and fifth-degree burns to more than 80 per cent of her body, and cost her two fingers and both her ears, which melted in the fire.
Nearly a year-and-a-half after her brush with death, Malinowski remains in the ICU, where she breaths with the help of a ventilator, cannot walk and talks in a whisper due to the extensive damage to her trachea.
She still has massive open wounds on the back and buttocks, which cannot be skin-grafted and have no chance of healing because Malinowski is unable to lay on her stomach due to difficulty breathing, according to the description of an online fundraiser that has been launched on her behalf.
On the eve of her 52nd surgery this week, Malinowski, a recovering opiate addict who had survived ovarian cancer, lamented from her hospital bed that no human being deserves to endure as much pain as she had suffered.
She said Slager’s sentence is inadequate, and she only agreed to the no contest plea for him on the condition that he would face murder charges if she succumbs to her injuries in the future.
‘He got off easy,’ she said.
Her mother, Bonnie Bowes, told 10TV Slager deserves nothing less than a life sentence.
Bowes added that Malinowski’s doctors warned them that she likely will not survive.
From her sick bed, Malinowski had a message for other victims of domestic violence: ‘Get help. Run.’
Malinowski, who is the mother of two girls, ages nine and 12, and Bowes are fighting for the passage of a legislation dubbed ‘Judy’s Law,’ which would increase the maximum sentence for aggravated arson if a person is burned.
SOURCE: SNEJANA FARBEROV