COLUMBUS, Ohio (WATE/WCMH) – Judy Malinowski is no longer suffering, but her fight continues to help domestic violence victims.
Two years ago, the former beauty queen, daughter, sister and mother was doused in gasoline and set on fire by an ex-boyfriend. For nearly 700 days and 60 surgeries, she lived in pain.
“It’s destroyed my life, my family’s life, my kids’ life, everyone around us life,” Malinowski whispered to WBNS-TV in her final year of life. “The laws of justice are just not fair.”
Doctors told Judy from the beginning that she would likely not survive her injuries. Guided by her faith, she fought to reclaim her story and find her purpose.
“I want to tell people how horrible something like this can be,” Judy said. “And if you’re in an abusive relationship, find help, and get out completely. Run the other way. Run.”
Michael Slager, her ex-boyfriend, is serving a maximum sentence of eleven years in prison in connection with the crime. On June 20, Malinowski’s oldest daughter, Kaylyn spoke before the Ohio Senate urging lawmakers to pass “Judy’s Law,” a bill that proposes tougher penalties for assault cases where the victim is permanently and seriously disfigured.
“Since my mom is unable to speak, I am here to speak for her. While he got 11 years, my mom, my sister and I all got a life sentence,” said Kaylyn. “She won’t see me graduate or see me get married. The man who hurt her, took away a lot from my family. He took away my mom, he took away my grandma’s time and most of all he took away the most precious and most gorgeous person everyone knew.”
Wednesday, just one day after her death, Ohio senators unanimously passed Judy’s Law. The bill now head’s to the governor’s desk.
After Malinowski’s death, prosecutors said they are moving forward with plans to charge Slager for aggravated murder. If convicted, he could face life in prison.