8-year-old son murdered by former NYPD officer Michael Valva

Alejandro Teodoro, Staff Writer

Forty-three-year-old former police officer Michael Valva has been found guilty of second-degree murder in Center Moriches, Long Island. He forced his 8-year-old son, Thomas, to sleep on a cold garage floor when it was 19 degrees outside, causing him to die from hypothermia on Jan. 17, 2020. Michael Valva also is facing four counts of child endangerment after a six-week trial at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead, Long Island. Two dozen calls to child protective services were made by teachers and the principal from East Moriches Elementary School for three years before Thomas Valva’s death.

Prosecutors at Suffolk County claimed that Michael Valva physically and verbally abused his two sons, Thomas and Anthony before Jan. 17, 2020. Mr. Valva’s former fiancée, Angella Pollina has also been charged with second-degree murder and child endangerment. They have both pleaded guilty.

A freshman at the University taking an Introduction to Sociology course said, “The abuse towards children to enhance masculinity is a problem that is too common within our norms.”

They also found a neighbor’s security camera recording incidents from that day. Mr. Valva ordered his son to strip down so he could douse him in the backyard with cold water. Thomas later struck his head on the concrete when falling. He urinated and defecated on the ground at around 8 a.m. on Jan. 17, 2020 and Mr. Valva told Ms. Pollina that he should eat the feces. At 8:50 a.m. Mr. Valva told Ms. Pollina that Thomas was catatonic while slapping and asking him if he was alive. Valva put Thomas in a warm bath at 9:40 a.m. to see if it would wake him up and when it didn’t, he called 9-1-1. His body temperature was later inspected by doctors at the Long Island Community Hospital, where they found that his temperature was 76.1 degrees. He died at approximately 10:30 a.m. from hypothermia. The last photo of Thomas was taken on Jan. 16, 2020, by his teacher. He wore a dark gray long-sleeve shirt while smiling with his thumbs up.

Abuse was a long-term issue for Thomas and his 10-year-old brother, Anthony. Teachers noticed bruises and abrasions on both of their bodies, so they filed reports about it. Instructors from East Moriches Elementary School also witnessed Thomas and Anthony eating out of the trash and eating crumbs off the floor because they were always hungry. The boys were also always cold according to the testimony and wore pull-ups as well because they were not allowed to use the bathroom at home for long periods of time causing them to be incontinent. Prosecutors also discovered footage of Thomas and Anthony shivering in the garage without a mattress, pillows, or covers two nights before the 8-year-old’s death. Prosecutors also showed the image with Thomas having blue lips due to hypothermia.