The inspiration of Judy's Law dies at age 33, prosecutor pursuing homicide case

(Courtesy: Malinowski family)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Family and friends are mourning the loss of Judy Malinowski.

The 33-year-old mother of two passed away Tuesday after almost two years in the hospital and more than 50 surgeries. Malinowski was disfigured by her ex-boyfriend Michael Slager after he doused her with gasoline and set her on fire in 2015.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said he is planning to pursue homicide charges against Slager.

"It is with great sadness I have learned that Judy Malinowski has passed away. The Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office in conjunction with the Gahanna Police Department and the original arson investigator, will update our review of the recent medical records and interview her medical providers, to confirm that the cause of death is a proximate result of the aggravated arson for which Mr. Slager is currently serving a sentence. Ohio law has no statute of limitations for Murder; however, provided that the determination is made that the proximate cause of death is the arson incident then an indictment would be sought in a time frame that both protects the public and protects against claims of prejudice due to delay. We stand ready to litigate the numerous motions that we anticipate Mr. Slager’s attorney will file on the subject of Judy’s deposition or any other subject involved in this matter. If the medical experts state that proximate cause to the arson, injuries, and death exist, the case would go forward with or without her deposition, which was sought to rebut Slager’s suggestion that the ignition was accidental and not intentional," said O'Brien.

State Representative Jim Hughes partnered with the Malinowski family on a bill that would add a new specification to felonious assault cases where victims have suffered disfigurement or other serious physical harm.

"My prayers and thoughts go out to the family. To me Judy, Bonnie and her family have been very brave and courageous in terms of what they have done," said Hughes.

Hughes said the family leaves a legacy.

"We will never know how much pain she was in but Judy continued to fight for this. She was a fighter, she really was and I can't say enough good things about her and her family. Personally, I don't know how anybody can pour gasoline on somebody and not intend to do harm to them as well as to cause all these problems. I think probably somebody like that should just go away to prison and throw the key away,"said Hughes.

The bill was unanimously approved by a Senate committee on Tuesday. It is expected to go to the full legislature on Wednesday or Thursday.

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