Ex-beauty queen dies two years after being set on fire by ex-boyfriend

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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The family of Judy Malinowski now hopes her message to woman in abusive relationships will reach even more people.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Judy Malinowski is no longer suffering, but the fight continues as a new law to help domestic violence victims is now one step closure to passage in Ohio.

GRAPHIC VIDEO WARNING: Some images may be disturbing for some viewers.

Two years ago, the former beauty queen, daughter, sister and mother was attacked and set on fire by an ex-boyfriend.

"It's destroyed my life, my family's life, my kids' life," Judy whispered to WBNS-TV in her final year of life. "Everyone around us life. And the laws of justice are just not fair."

Last December, Michael Slager pleaded guilty to aggravated arson in the attack that ended up costing the 33-year-old her life.

But, despite cries for a greater sentence, Slager received just 11 years in prison, the maximum penalty for that charge.

While doctors told Malinowski she would not long survive her injuries, she persisted, fighting for life every single day the last two years.

She also started fighting for tougher laws to help women caught in situations similar to hers.

Her story inspired a bill in Ohio to create tougher prison sentences for attacks that permanently disfigure or disable victims.

Aided by technology to help her speak and amplify her voice, Judy pushed for the law to help victims of domestic violence.

Last week, when her voice finally gave out, it was her 13-year-old daughter that did the speaking on her mom's behalf.

"Please pass my mom's law, because together, we can prevent these types of situations," she pleaded. "We can prevent this from happening to other families."

The bill is one step closer now to becoming law.

While Judy's fight is over, her family hopes she will live on through her message, if only to help other women escape her fate.

"I want to tell people how horrible something like this can be," Judy said. "If you're in an abusive relationship, find help. And get out completely. Run the other way. Run."