RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (PIX11) — — The fate of Angela Pollina, the woman accused of torturing her fiancé’s 8-year-old son to death, is now in the hands of a jury.

They’re weighing charges of second-degree murder and child endangerment, after Pollina spent three days on the witness stand in her own defense. That was followed by closing arguments from both sides on Thursday. 

Pollina, 45, made various statements on the stand in which she admitted that she’d abused Thomas Valva physically and emotionally. However, she and her attorney have argued in court that she’s not responsible for the boy’s death. 

“I just wanted to lay it all on the line, and be truthful,” said Matt Touhy, Pollina’s lawyer, in comments after his closing argument, “and say you may hate her, but she didn’t commit murder. I don’t think it’s even close.”

Instead, he said in his in-court summation, that it was the child’s father, Pollina’s then-fiancé Michael Valva, who killed Thomas in January 2020. 

Michael Valva is an ex-NYPD cop who was convicted last year of the same charges that Pollina now faces. He’s serving a 25 years to life sentence in prison. The criminal accusations stem from when the boy died of hypothermia, according to the medical examiner. 

The condition set in after Thomas and his brother were forced to sleep on the floor of the garage at their home for months, in subfreezing temperatures, and were only allowed to go to outside to the bathroom and to wash off. That was also the case on Jan. 17, 2020, the day of the child’s death. First responders reported that Thomas had a body temperature of 76.1 degrees when he was found. 

Pollina’s attorney asked the jury to convict her on the four counts of child endangerment against her — all misdemeanors — but to acquit her on the murder charge. 

Defense attorney Touhy said that when the 8-year-old died, he was with his father, not with Pollina. He argued the point passionately, even choking up as he spoke during his closing argument. 

“For me, [it’s] emotional,” Tuohy said, “because obviously the boy, and the tragedy. It just gets a little overwhelming. I put a lot of heart into this. It’s in God’s hands.” 

However, prosecutor Kerriann Kelly put the case into the jury’s hands, and in her summation showed or referenced a lot of the evidence that the jury has seen over the last two weeks of trial. 

During her closing argument, Kelly showed Valva’s autopsy photo. It’s not being released to the public. Kelly said the boy’s thinness and cuts and scrapes that are apparent in the photo indicate that he’d been mistreated by Pollina in her home. 

Prosecutors also argued that Pollina had worked in tandem with Michael Valva for two years to deprive and abuse the boy. Those actions ultimately led to the point of death, they said. 

They also said that the account that Pollina had given under oath of the boy’s last day was largely fabricated. 

Prosecutors claimed that she had worked with Michael Valva to come up with a plan to ensure that they weren’t held liable for the boy’s death. In fact, Kelly said, it was only after the couple had devised their plan that they called 911. 

The jury was given the case at the end of the day on Thursday, and almost immediately sent two notes to the judge seeking a clearer definition of the charges, and requesting clarification about the medical examiner’s report, according to sources with knowledge of the proceeding. 

Deliberation continues on Friday, beginning with the judge responding to the jurors’ request.