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After Forcing Him to Sleep in a Chilly Garage, an NYPD Officer Was Found Guilty of Killing His 8-year-old Autistic Son
On Friday, the former NYPD officer was guilty of five crimes, including second-degree murder, including the killing of his 8-year-old son. Following the January 2020 murder of his son Thomas Valva, who was autistic and died of hypothermia after being forced to sleep in a chilly garage on a 19-degree night, a Suffolk County, New York, a jury unanimously found Michael Valva guilty, according to The New York Times.
The Times reports that after a six-week trial at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead, Long Island, Michael, 43, was also found guilty on four counts of endangering children. When he is sentenced on December 8, according to ABC 7, he could spend anything from 15 years to life in jail.
An NYPD officer and his fiancée are accused of killing their autistic son by leaving him in a frigid garage overnight. According to John LoTurco, Valva’s attorney, in a statement to PEOPLE: “Though disappointed, we accept the jury’s decision.
A wave of emotions was unleashed by this unfortunate and heartbreaking story. The seven-week trial had a dramatic backdrop thanks to the opposing narratives presented by the prosecution and our defense, which argued that Michael Valva was a father who genuinely loved his son Thomas despite clear parenting shortcomings.”
LoTurco intends to file a motion to dismiss the verdict on the second-degree murder charge, alleging inadequate evidence, even though he says they “respect the juror’s judgment.” He’ll submit an appeal as well. A request for comment from PEOPLE was not immediately answered by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
DA Raymond A. Tierney told ABC 7 that “what transpired in this courtroom does not diminish the tremendous tragedy of this case.” How Home Security Cameras of an NYPD Officer Led to His Arrest for Allegedly Killing His Son, 8.
The source claimed that LoTurco argued that his then-fiancée, Angela Pollina, who was also present when Thomas died, was to blame in an effort to have the charges against his client reduced to criminal negligence and homicide. He asserted that Michael made an effort to save his son.
According to ABC 7, LoTurco stated in court that “it was evident from all of the evidence, substantial evidence, that she was the dictator of discipline in that household, that she controlled not just Michael, but she also had a boyfriend in that household who resided with her.”
Want to stay up to date on crime news? For information on interesting unsolved cases, ongoing trial coverage, and breaking crime news, subscribe to PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter. According to CBS New York, the defense maintained that Michael and Pollina’s evidence and messages showed that the 45-year-old woman hated Thomas and his 10-year-old brother Anthony because of their autism and their incontinence issues.
According to the CBS account of the court hearing, Pollina allegedly came up with the idea to send the boys to their unheated garage when they had accidents. According to The Times, the couple repeatedly made Thomas and Anthony spend the night in the garage over a period of months.
Following one of these mishaps, Michael texted Pollina, “I’ll beat them up once more, okay. Talking is ineffective. Perhaps a bleeding face will, “in line with CBS. Why Is Thomas Unable to Walk? Thomas Valva, 8, died as a result of alleged abuse, and a cop dad is facing charges.
Furthermore, according to CBS, surveillance video from their house showed Michael and Pollina hosing the boys down in the backyard the morning of Thomas’ passing. “He is icy. boo (crap), “After Thomas hit his face, she was heard yelling.
According to the Times, Pollina was also accused of second-degree murder and endangering a child. She entered a not-guilty plea to both charges. Her trial is scheduled to happen later. Justyna Zubko-Valva, Thomas’ mother, has also sued Michael, Pollina, and a number of municipal officials for $200 million.