A former New York Metropolis police officer whose 8-year-old son died after he was pressured to sleep within the household’s freezing storage, was sentenced to 25 years to life in jail Thursday.
Michael Valva, 45, was discovered responsible of second-degree homicide and 4 counts of endangering the welfare of a kid in November in reference to the January 2020 demise of his son Thomas Valva.
The boy’s demise was dominated a murder with a serious contributing issue of hypothermia, after he was pressured to sleep within the household’s Lengthy Island storage in temperatures that dipped beneath 20 levels.
The egregious case led to the invention of a historical past of kid abuse within the residence.
Valva sobbed in courtroom Thursday and apologized for his actions, NBC New York reported. NBC Information has reached out to Valva’s lawyer for remark.
Suffolk County District Lawyer Ray Tierney known as the tragedy “one of the troublesome and heartbreaking circumstances I’ve skilled in my almost 30 years as a prosecutor.”
“Due to the good work of my prosecutors and the SCPD, there’s a small measure of justice in Michael Valva receiving the utmost sentence. Nonetheless, no jail sentence is sufficient for the merciless therapy this defendant inflicted on his personal youngsters,” Tierney mentioned in a press release.
He slammed the brutal therapy of Valva’s sons Thomas and his brother Anthony.
“The torture that killed Thomas and endangered Anthony’s welfare was nothing wanting evil. Fortunately, the story of this defendant ends right here, however the pursuit of justice for Thomas and Anthony continues,” Tierney mentioned.
Suffolk County Police responded to the Lengthy Island residence of Valva and his then-fiancée Angelina Pollina on Jan. 17, 2020 on a report that the little boy fell within the driveway and misplaced consciousness.
Officers discovered Valva performing CPR on Thomas, who was hospitalized and pronounced lifeless, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart beforehand mentioned. The boy’s physique temperature was simply 76 levels when docs tried to revive him, Hart added.
Police quickly unravelled Valva’s declare that his son had fallen and misplaced consciousness whereas making an attempt to catch the college bus after combing by footage on the couple’s in depth residence safety system.
Prosecutors argued within the trial that Thomas and Anthony Valva, each of whom have autism, had spent 16 hours in that storage with no warmth, or rest room entry, mattress or blankets on the freezing chilly evening. At one level Thomas awakened on the cement ground and dirty his pants.
Surveillance footage submitted on the trial confirmed Michael Valva screaming at Thomas and ordering him outdoors to hose him down with water. Thomas misplaced consciousness and fell face first a number of instances into the yard concrete patio and Valva delayed calling 911 for at the very least an hour, NBC New York reported.
Protection lawyer Anthony Lapinta argued in courtroom that Valva’s former fiancée Pollina was controlling and needed the boys to stay outdoors of the home, the station reported.
Pollina, 45, was additionally charged with second-degree homicide and her trial is slated for Feb. 21, 2023.
In response to Hart, the surveillance footage led investigators to study that Valva’s sons had been punished with “meals deprivation and publicity to extraordinarily frigid temperatures,” based on Hart.
Suffolk County Division of Social Providers Commissioner Frances Pierre mentioned in a press release on the time of Valva’s arrest that youngster neglect was alleged within the family in 2018, triggering a one-year youngster supervision program.
Valva, who labored with the NYPD since 2005, was suspended with out pay following the costs.