RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — Michael Valva, the ex-NYPD officer accused with his former fiancée in the brutal child abuse death of his 8-year-old son Thomas, will put the blame on her as a trial nears — and Angela Pollina is set to point the finger at Michael Valva.
“She’s 100% innocent,” said Pollina’s defense attorney Matthew Tuohy, outside a pre-trial hearing in Riverhead, Long Island.
Tuohy told us he was preparing to request Pollina get her own trial and jury in the murder case.
“We are making a similar motion,” said Valva’s defense lawyer, John LoTurco, “indicating that Angela Pollina was primarily responsible for the death of Thomas Valva, that she was in control of the discipline in that family.”
But one thing Pollina and Valva are united on: trying to keep Ring camera video from inside the house out of the trial.
During Friday’s hearing, Tuohy suggested Suffolk County homicide detective Norberto Flores took advantage of Pollina’s trauma at the Long Island Community Hospital, where the boy was pronounced dead at 10:28 am on Jan. 17, 2020.
Detective Flores was asking Pollina for access to the in-house cameras.
“She was administered Xanax, and she was medically treated,” Tuohy told reporters outside court. “She wasn’t able to consent at that point and he was pressuring her. She was in no position to make any decisions at that point.”
The detective testified that when he returned to the couple’s house at 11 Bittersweet Lane in Center Moriches, he met them at about 2:11 pm when they arrived home from the hospital.
Detective Flores said he took Pollina aside and asked her to get the password for the camera system.
He said Pollina kept the password in a notebook in her bedroom.
“I felt the cameras would give us surveillance to show how Thomas fell,” Flores testified. “I don’t recall her objecting or saying anything .”
Flores said Angela Pollina signed a form giving him permission to “conduct a complete search of my personal property.”
A prosecutor told a judge in early 2020 that Angela Pollina was seen on one camera dragging Thomas down a staircase on Jan. 15, 2020, because the boy had soiled his pants.
Michael Valva was outside of the house that night, working as an NYPD transit officer.
Pollina allegedly texted photos of the 8-year-old shivering in the garage, holding himself like he needed to go to the bathroom.
The prosecutor said Michael Valva texted back “F—k Thomas, that piece of s—t.”
Prosecutors have evidence that Thomas and his two brothers were victims of child abuse syndrome.
They lived in the house for two years with Pollina, her daughters, and Michael Valva.
Thomas and his older brother were on the autism spectrum.
Teachers at their East Moriches School District contacted the New York State Child Abuse Hotline at least 20 times, with complaints the two older boys came to school with bruises, wearing pull-up diapers, and desperately in need of nutrition.
Pollina’s defense attorney wanted to know why Detective Flores didn’t wait to question the other children, who were still at school when Flores left the home Jan. 17th.
He quoted Pollina and Valva: “They both said they believed the children didn’t witness the fall.”
Michael Valva said in a 911 call that Thomas fell on the concrete driveway on his way to catch the school bus.
Prosecutors said the in-house cameras show Thomas fell on the concrete floor of the freezing garage.
The hearing will resume next week. A trial is set for September.