Michael Valva convicted of the murder of Thomas Valva

Michael Valva appears in court (WABC-TV)

Michael Valva appears in court (WABC-TV)

Thomas Valwa was just 8 years old when he froze to death after being hosed down and forced to sleep in the garage of his Long Island home in the dead of winter. Now the boy’s father, a 43-year-old former NYPD cop Michael Valwacan spend the rest of his days behind bars after a New York judge sentenced him to 25 years of life imprisonment.

A Suffolk County jury last month convicted Valva of second-degree murder and four counts of child endangerment after prosecutors argued he knowingly forced Thomas and his 10-year-old brother to sleep on a concrete floor in the unheated garage of theirs house. Although temperatures dropped below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, the two boys had been hosed down with ice-cold water before being locked in the garage for soiling the bed.

The boy, who lived with autism, was finally pronounced dead on Jan. 20, 2020 at Long Island Community Hospital after suffering hypothermia-induced cardiac arrest. According to reports, his body temperature was only 76 degrees when he arrived at the medical facility.

Valva, with tears in his eyes, said he “loved Thomas with all his heart” and apologized for his actions during Thursday’s hearing at the hearing streamed live from the New York news network News12.

“I am truly sorry, ashamed, heartbroken and filled with grief as I stand before you for contributing to the death of my son Thomas. I loved Thomas with all my heart,” Valva said. “My actions were careless and abusive towards my boys which resulted in the tragic death of Thomas. I lost focus on how to be a good father. I was so wrong and it cost Thomas his life.”

The presiding judge said that Thomas and his brother “spent their young lives under constant pressure in a place where they should have felt most secure: their own home.”

“This must never happen to us again,” said the judge.

Valva’s conviction came after the jury deliberated for seven hours following the five-week trial.

“This case is heartbreaking and one of the toughest child molestation trials faced by our prosecutors, court officials and jury,” said the Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said in a expression after Valva’s sentencing on November 6. “No child should ever have to endure such evil deeds.”

As Law&Crime previously reported, Valva initially attempted to pass off his son’s death as an accident. He told investigators Thomas fell while trying to catch up with the school bus, but police didn’t believe the story. The 8-year-old’s head and facial injuries did not match the defendant’s version, authorities said.

At the time of the murder, Valva had custody of his three sons, aged six, eight and 10. Valva’s former fiancee Angela Polina had three daughters: a 6-year-old and 11-year-old twins.

Prosecutors said Thomas and his brother were locked in the garage without heat for about 16 hours before Thomas succumbed to the brutal conditions. The children, both on the autism spectrum, were reportedly sent to the garage as punishment for accidentally urinating and defecation around the house.

Prosecutors also reportedly presented evidence showing that Valva and Pollina physically, verbally and emotionally abused the two boys for months prior to Thomas’s death.

“I will beat them until they bleed,” wrote the accused Polina via SMS about the discipline of the boys, so a report of the New York Daily News. “It’s the only thing that works.”

Prosecutors also claimed that the boys were deliberately starved and observed at school “literally eating crumbs off the floor.”

“While there is nothing we can do to bring Thomas back, we are pleased with the jury’s decision,” prosecutor Tierney said. “Michael Valva subjected his sons to terrible abuse, neglect and cruelty. He will now pay for shortening the life of a young, innocent, defenseless boy who had a life ahead of him.”

Angela Pollina, 45, was also charged with second-degree murder and child endangerment in Thomas’s death. She has pleaded not guilty and has been held without attachment since her initial arrest. A date for her trial has not yet been set.

[Screenshot via WABC-TV]

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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/i-was-so-wrong-ex-nypd-cop-sentenced-to-prison-after-leaving-8-year-old-son-with-special-needs-to-freeze-to-death-in-garage/ Michael Valva convicted of the murder of Thomas Valva


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