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For the first time in the history, something like this happened in Ohio court. A Franklin County judge allowed playing a recorded testimony of a dead woman.
Judy Malinowski, a 33-year-old woman, died in June 2017 after being doused with gasoline by her ex-boyfriend Michael Slager. But before dying, she recorded a testimony against her accused murderer in the hospital bed.
Such evidence has been blocked for years in court by stern hearsay rules. However, Judge Guy Reece II allowed prosecutors to use the videotaped statement from Judy Malinowski in the trial.
The two-hour video of Malinowski recorded five months before her death startled everyone. She was awfully feeble and burned to death, but yet clearly expressed what happened.
She was barely able to speak but managed to say: “I never knew that a human being could be so evil. He just stood there and did nothing.” “God please, please help me.”
On Aug. 2, 2015, outside a gas station in Gahanna, a suburb of Columbus, Slager doused her ex-girlfriend Malinowski with gasoline and set her on fire while they both were arguing. Then Malinowski was admitted to Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, but 90 percent of her body was severely burnt.
She had lost both of her ears and two fingers and underwent 56 surgeries before dying. The mother-of-two suffered horrendous damage but still clung to life in a hospital bed for two years.
Witnesses of the incident pointed at Slager, who was then arrested on multiple charges in connection with the occurrence. Slager maintained that it was a mishap and he set her on fire by accident while lighting a cigarette.
He avoided trial by pleading no contest to provoked arson, and criminal assault In December 2016. However, he was subsequently sentenced to11 years behind bars.
After Malinowski gave in to her injury, a grand jury accused Slager of aggravated murder and murder charges. If condemned, he could face the death penalty.
The courageous woman inspired Ohio legislation that took six additional years to disfigure victims permanently.
Although it can’t aid the pain that Malinowski had to go through, the justice gave satisfaction to her daughters that she did not suffer in vain.