Defense for man who set woman on fire asks to move trial, bar her taped testimony


There are new legal developments tonight in the case of Michael Slager.

Slager is charged in the aggravated murder of Judy Malinowski. She died last summer, nearly two years after Slager set her on fire.

Judy Malinowski's fight for survival ended last June, nearly two years after she was doused with gasoline and set on fire.

But her family's fight for justice is far from over.

Before her death, her ex-boyfriend Michael Slager was convicted of aggravated arson and felonious assault.

With her passing, prosecutors charged Slager with aggravated murder, for which they are seeking the death penalty.

Before Slager goes to trial, a judge will have to resolve multiple issues raised by the prosecution and defense.

First: Will jurors hear from Judy? From her hospital bed, Judy shared her story with 10TV in December of 2016:

"No human being should ever have to go through that," she said. "Nothing that breathes should ever have to endure the pain of being set on fire."

Doctors told prosecutors she would likely not survive, and the court allowed prosecutors to record her testimony via video conference from the hospital.

In her still-sealed deposition, Malinowski was under oath and cross-examined by Slager's attorney.

In new defense motions, Slager's attorneys say criminal rules do not allow for her testimony to be allowed at trial.

The defense is also asking for Slager's trial to be moved out of Franklin County.

They say the "extensive and ongoing pretrial publicity makes it...impossible to seat an impartial jury" in the county. They argue media coverage of Malinowski's story "has created momentum for a death verdict."

A judge will rule on these motions in March. Slager's trial is set for July.

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