'Truly sorry': ex-NYPD cop Michael Valva WEEPS after 25-year sentence for killing autistic son Thomas Valva
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LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK: Disgraced former NYPD police officer sobbed uncontrollably in the courtroom as he begged forgiveness for killing his autistic eight-year-old son by forcing him to sleep in the chilling garage just because he wet himself. Michael Valva, 43, was sentenced in Suffolk County Court on Thursday, December 08, just one month after he was found guilty of his autistic son's murder.
Judge William Condon sentenced the disgraced police officer to 25 years to life in prison, which is the maximum sentence for second-degree murder. Before being sentenced, Michael tearfully apologized for abandoning his son Thomas Valva to perish in the Long Island garage in January 2020. "I am truly sorry, I'm regretful, ashamed, heartbroken, and grief-stricken as I stand here before you, having contributed to the death of my son, Thomas," he said ahead of the sentencing. "I love Thomas with all my heart, as I still love Anthony and Andrew," Michael added.
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During a month-long trial, the court heard that Michael and his then-fiancee, Angela Pollina forced Thomas and his older brother, Anthony Valva, 10, to spend 16 hours in the cold garage without any blankets or access to a restroom as punishment for urinating and defecating inside the Center Moriches home. The prosecutors also noted that Thomas died of hypothermia adding Michael refused to call 911 for at least an hour after he became unconscious. Pollina is also facing child endangerment and second-degree murder counts but has pleaded not guilty. A trail against her will begin in February next year.
#BreakingNews: #MichaelValva sentenced to 25 years to life for the death of his 8-year-old son - https://t.co/JX9wdGX75s pic.twitter.com/QOIFCpMjMM— News12LI (@News12LI) December 8, 2022
Jurors were also informed that Michael had for months "beaten, starved, and mentally abused" his sons Thomas and Anthony, and treated Thomas so poorly in his final moments that he should be convicted of the most serious murder allegation. According to the New York Post, Michael allegedly informed the 911 operator that his son Thomas had "stopped breathing."
He then 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 he reportedly responded, “I don’t know to be honest," and laughed nervously. Upon their arrival, officials found Thomas in an unconscious state.
Thomas was then rushed to the local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. It was also reported that the doctors at the hospital recorded Thomas’ body temperature at just 76.1°F. During the investigation, the officials also found cameras and recorders installed in their home, which led to the unveiling of previous child abuse complaints against them.
The Suffolk County Sheriff's Office received inmates Michael Valva and Angela Pollina late yesterday following their arrest for the murder of Thomas Valva. (1 of 2) pic.twitter.com/VYiDRKU7Q3— Suffolk County Sheriff's Office (@Suffolk_Sheriff) January 25, 2020
However, at the sentencing, the veteran judge Condon told Michael that he believes he is truly sorry for his son’s death. "I don't think you intended to kill Thomas, but there is no getting around that Thomas and Anthony lived their lives in constant duress," Condon said, adding that the fact that he was an NYPD officer at the time "makes your actions that much more unimaginable. We can never let this happen again."
Following the announcement, Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said justice had been served in the "heartbreaking" case. "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," he said at an ensuing news conference. However, no prison sentence is adequate for the cruel treatment this defendant inflicted on his own children. The torture that killed Thomas and endangered Anthony's welfare was nothing short of evil.