A woman who was set on fire by her ex-boyfriend two years ago has died.
Judy Malinowski, 33, died on June 27 from injuries sustained when 41-year-old Michael Slager burned her at an Ohio gas station in August 2015, reports the Daily Mail.
Her mother, Bonnie Bowes, confirmed the death. "That child suffered for two years to tell her own story, who has the strength to do it?" she said.
Malinowski, a mother of two, suffered fourth- and fifth-degree burns to 80 per cent of her body as a result of the attack.
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Both of her ears and parts of her fingers were melted off in the blaze. Her trachea was also extensively damaged, causing her to lose the ability to speak above a whisper. She also could no longer walk or breathe without the assistance of a ventilator.
She endured a total of 56 surgeries, though doctors were unable to repair massive open wounds on her back and buttocks because she was too weak to lie on her stomach during surgery.
She was moved to palliative care in May, after two years of hospitalization.
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Slager initially claimed that he didn't mean to set her on fire, saying that he accidentally ignited the fuel when he lit a cigarette. His attorney said his client was in love with Malinowski and that the incident was just a "horrible accident," The Associated Press reported at the time.
In December 2016, Slager pleaded no contest to charges of felonious assault, aggravated arson and possession of criminal tools and was sentenced to the maximum of 11 years in prison in December.
Following Malinowski's death, however, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said his office is now pursuing murder charges against him.
"It would be our intention, and it has been all along, that should she pass away it was our intention to pursue a homicide charge,"
O'Brien said. "This day was not unexpected for probably a long time, but it's sad that it finally arrived."
Meanwhile, lawmakers in Ohio are on the verge of passing "Judy's Law," which would increase the penalties for cases in which a victim is left permanently disfigured when an accelerant is used to set that person on fire. It unanimously passed the Ohio House in May and is waiting on the Senate.
In a similar case earlier in June, a North Carolina man who set his wife on fire has been charged with first-degree murder following her death, reports WCNC.
The husband, Gary McGill, poured rubbing alcohol on his wife before burning her, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.
Archie McGill, the 47-year-old victim, was taken to a local medical center. She was later transferred to another medical center, where she died.
The husband was subsequently arrested and charged with attempted murder, malicious use of incendiary device, burning personal property, and carelessness with fire.