Ex-Cop Found Guilty Of Killing 8-Year Old Son

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Laci Avne, Staff Writer

A former New York Police Officer named Michael Valva was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after he was proven guilty of second-degree murder charges against his 8-year-old son. After a 5 week extensive trial, Valva’s fate was sealed on December 8.  

The death of Thomas Valva occurred in January of 2020. The young boy was only 8 years old and was diagnosed with autism. The torture put upon Thomas and his brother Anthony, who was 10 years old at the time and also has autism, involved being locked in the garage with freezing temperatures for up to 16 hours. The temperatures got as cold as 19 degrees Fahrenheit, and the boy suffered from hypothermia. He died from freezing to death, while also being beaten and verbally abused by his father.

Previous concerns surrounding the parenting arose when Thomas would come to school “starved”, resulting in the child eating crumbs off the floor. The school’s administration was highly concerned and reported the signs of neglect to Child Protective Services, known as CPS, but Valva denied the allegations. The authorities seemed to side with him due to his status in the police department, leading to nothing being done to ensure the child’s safety. Suffolk County’s CPS agency has come under fire due to its failures. 

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Thomas Valva, the victim of his father’s violence.

Valva’s defendants argued that his sentence should be shortened due to his service in the community, but the judge immediately denied this possibility by giving him the longest sentence. He reacted by saying, “Your honor, I accept your sentence as I already sentenced myself to a lifetime filled of extreme regret, remorse and grief.” Whether his regret is genuine or not is hard to decipher. He seemed to show no emotional reaction during his closing statements and turned his head away when presented with images of his child.

Valva’s ex-fiancee and accomplice, Angela Pollina, has also faced charges for her part in the murder. Her trial will take place on February 21 of 2023. 

District attorney Raymond Tierney states, “This is one of the most difficult and heartbreaking cases I have experienced in my nearly 30 years as a prosecutor. Thanks to the great work of my prosecutors and the SCPD, there is a small measure of justice in Michael Valva receiving the maximum sentence. However, no prison sentence is adequate for the cruel treatment this defendant inflicted on his own children.” He feels no sympathy for the man he deems evil.