RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (PIX11) — Long Island father Michael Valva has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of his 8-year-old son, who froze to death in the family’s garage in 2020.
A Suffolk County jury found Valva — a former NYPD officer — guilty on all counts. The second-degree murder conviction carries a prison sentence of 25 years to life.
Valva fatally abused his 8-year-old son Thomas. An autopsy revealed the elementary schooler died from hypothermia.
The child was forced to live in the family’s unheated garage for months, without any blankets. The temperature outside was 19 degrees on the day he died on Jan. 17, 2020.
Thomas and his 10-year-old brother, both of whom had autism, were forced to live under the same torturous conditions, prosecutors said.
Testimony from a variety of witnesses, including teachers from the boy’s school, described Thomas as being severely underfed and showing signs of physical abuse.
Valva’s ex-fiancee, Angela Pollina, was also charged with second-degree murder for her alleged role in Thomas’ death. She has not faced trial yet.