Michael Valva: Ex-NYPD officer found guilty of killing autistic son by locking him in freezing garage
After being convicted of the most serious felony, Michael Valva faces 25 years to life in prison
LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK: On Friday, November 4, a jury found disgraced former NYPD officer Michael Valva guilty on all counts, including second-degree murder, in the killing of his son Thomas Valva, 8, who was locked overnight in the family's Long Island home's unheated garage before he died. Suffolk County jurors debated for less than a day before returning to the verdict around 6 pm. After being convicted of the most serious felony, the former cop faces 25 years to life in prison.
Before reaching a decision, the jury requested to hear the father's 911 call, view some evidence images, and watch a two-hour tape of security footage from the day Thomas died. Michael's defense argued in closing comments on Thursday, November 3, that the Center Moriches father loved his son Thomas and tried everything he could to save him on the day he died. Meanwhile, prosecutors told jurors that Michael had for months beaten, starved, and mentally abused his sons Thomas and Anthony Valva. Prosecutors also said that he treated Thomas so poorly in his final moments that he should be convicted of the most serious murder allegation, as per reports from New York Post.
The ex-conviction cop's in the death of little Thomas in 2020 came after a trial that detailed years of cruelty and neglect the boy endured, including being starving to the point that he ate crumbs off the ground at school. Thomas' principal stated that the school was so concerned about the malnourished youngster that they filled the Child Protective Services hotline with complaints in a frantic attempt to get them to care, despite his father's refusal to cooperate. Thomas died of hypothermia on January 17, 2020, after being kept in the frigid garage for up to 16 hours when temperatures dropped to 19 degrees. Anthony, his 10-year-old brother, escaped the horrible punishment.
An EMT who tried to save Thomas' life that day testified that Michael, 43, had "no emotion, no sense of concern" for his kid, whom he informed paramedics was motionless after banging his head on a door frame. In September, the former cop was charged with second-degree murder and endangering the welfare of a kid. At his sentence, he faces 25 years to life in prison on the most serious offense. Angela Polina, his then-fiancée with whom he lived at the time of Thomas' death, has also been charged and will stand trial at a later date. At trial, Michael's attorney contended that Polina, 45, was responsible for the deadly mistreatment and refused to let him provide Thomas with a blanket and other luxuries before his death.