Michael Valva trial: Ex-NYPD cop who froze autistic son to death forced his children to sleep on dog pads
Thomas Valva, 8, and his 10-year-old brother Anthony were bruised, starved, and forced to sleep on dog pads by their dad and his fiancée Angela Polina
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RIVERHEAD, NEW YORK: Ex-NYPD cop Michael Valva, 43, exposed his children to years of extreme torture that ended in the freezing death of his 8-year-old autistic son in 2020. Prosecutors alleged on Wednesday, September 28, during the opening statements at his murder trial. Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Laura Newcombe testified before the jury that the young Thomas Valva and his 10-year-old brother Anthony were bruised, starved, and forced to sleep on dog pads by their dad and his then-fiancée Angela Polina.
According to The Sun, Valva allegedly once texted Polina about the boys, “I will beat them until they bleed. It is the only thing that works.” The prosecutor claimed that the brothers, who both had special needs, had been so terribly mistreated that school officials claimed they would show up for the class in filthy clothes and search through the trash for food. “They were observed at school literally eating crumbs off the floor,” Newcombe added.
On January 17, 2020, when Valva called 911 and reported that his son had fallen and hit his head. Prosecutors claimed that the youngster was made to spend the night imprisoned in a cold garage. According to the New York Post, Michael allegedly informed the 911 operator that his son Thomas had ‘stopped breathing.’ Valva said, “I don’t know if he’s breathing or not. His heart stopped. He banged his head pretty good.” The dispatcher asked Michael, “Are you sure he’s not breathing?” to which Valva reportedly responded, “I don’t know to be honest," and laughed nervously.
Later the medical report claimed that Thomas died from extreme hypothermia after he spent 16 hours inside the garage with his older brother. Justyna Zubo-Valva, the mother of the kid, claimed that her son's maltreatment was evident before his death and launched a $200 million wrongful death case against Suffolk County officials and school representatives in June of last year. The couple and Polina's three daughters moved into the house at 11 Bittersweet Lane in 2017, and soon after that, the abuse of the boys allegedly started, according to the prosecutors. Valva and Polina both of them are being tried individually and are each accused of second-degree murder and endangering the welfare of a child.
Meanwhile, One of Valva's attorneys accused Polina for Thomas' death in court on Wednesday, September 28. After a painful divorce, his client was emotionally and financially exhausted, and he turned a blind eye to maintain his relationship with Polina, according to attorney Anthony La Pinta. La Pina said, “He tried his best to salvage the relationship. Eleven Bittersweet Lane was becoming more bitter by the day.” Polina reportedly complained that Valva was making things too comfortable for his kids.
La Pinta claimed that although Valva had given the boys mattresses, blankets, books, and a TV, Polina had refused to let them keep the things since they had soiled themselves. “This was not a senseless act of evil. You need to think with your heads and not with your hearts,” he remarked. Meanwhile, Valva could receive a life sentence if found guilty. Some 36 witnesses are reportedly expected to testify. It’s now anticipated that Valva will take the stand during the trial, which could last approximately three weeks.