Dead woman to ‘give evidence’ at own murder trial

A judge has ruled that a woman who was doused in petrol and set alight will be heard at her former boyfriend's trial – even though she died last year.

A videotaped testimony from Judy Malinowski will be played during her own murder trial in what Franklin County Judge Guy Reece called an unprecedented case.

The Ohio judge said officials had not known a case in which a victim would testify at their own murder trial.

The woman lived for two years after her horrific ordeal which left her with severe third and fourth degree burns, covering most of her body.

Image:Michael Slager is now facing further charges after Ms Malinowski's death. Pic: 10TV News

The 33-year-old remained in hospital and underwent dozens of surgeries after she was set alight in 2015 behind a petrol station in the suburb of Gahanna.

It was during this time she recorded the video.

Her former partner Michael Slager was sentenced to 11 years in prison after he pleaded no contest in 2016 to charges including felonious assault and aggravated arson.

Judy Malinowski spoke to media before her death. Pic: 10TV News
Image:Judy Malinowski spoke to media before her death. Pic: 10TV News

But, following the death of Ms Malinowski in August, a grand jury indicted her ex-boyfriend on further charges including murder and aggravated murder.

He could now face the death penalty if convicted.

Slager's lawyers have argued against allowing the footage to be heard in court, suggesting prosecutors improperly relied on civil law rather than criminal law in obtaining the recording.

The petrol station where the incident took place
Image:The petrol station where the incident took place

The case comes after the mother-of-two inspired changes in the law in Ohio, ensuring six more years in jail for those who commit crimes which permanently maim or disfigure victims.

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Her daughters said the change in the law meant their mother did not suffer in vain.

Slager has always maintained that he set Ms Malinowski alight by accident while lighting a cigarette.

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