COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio man who authorities say caused his ex-girlfriend's death by setting her on fire has pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated murder and avoided a possible death penalty.

Forty-two-year-old Michael Slager pleaded guilty Thursday in 33-year-old Judy Malinowski's death after reaching a deal with prosecutors. He could have received the death penalty if convicted at trial.

The judge in Franklin County Common Pleas Court sentenced Slager to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Slager had been sentenced to 11 years in prison on aggravated arson and felonious assault charges after Malinowski was doused in gasoline and set ablaze in August 2015 in Gahanna. He was charged with aggravated murder after Malinowski died last year from her injuries.

Slager's attorney didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday.