Long Island, New York: On Friday, November 4, after seven hours of deliberation, a jury found Michael Valva, 43, guilty of the murder of his 8-year-old son, Thomas Valva in January 2020.
Valva was found guilty on all counts against him including second-degree murder and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Sentencing has been scheduled for December 8, 2022. Valva faces a sentence between 25 years to life in prison.
“Today the jury has spoken on the tragic murder of Thomas Valva by his father, the defendant Michael Valva," Ray Tierney, the Suffolk County District Attorney stated in a post on Facebook. "This guilty verdict will not bring back 8-year-old Thomas, who suffered immense cruelty at the hands of his father, the same person who was entrusted to protect, provide and unconditionally love Thomas and his older brother Anthony. This case is heartbreaking, and it has been one of the toughest child abuse trials for our prosecutors, court personnel and jurors. No child should ever have to endure such evil acts. While there is nothing that we can do to bring Thomas back, we are satisfied with the jury’s decision. Michael Valva subjected his sons to horrific abuse, neglect and cruelty. He will now pay for cutting short the life of a young, innocent, defenseless boy who had a lifetime ahead of him. I thank the jury for their service. Because we have another case on this matter pending, I will not comment any further at this time.”
Thomas and his elder brother, Anthony, are believed to have been in an un-heated garage for 16 hours after being hosed down, on a night when temperatures outside dropped below 20 degrees. Anthony, then 10, survived.
When Thomas arrived at the Long Island Community Hospital his body temperature was determined to be just 76 degrees. He died on January 17, 2020 due to cardiac arrest caused by hypothermia according to Law and Crime.
The punishment was allegedly due to the boys, both of whom were on the autism spectrum, accidentally urinating and defecating inside the home.
In a text message, Valva texted Polina saying, "I will beat them until they bleed. It's the only thing that works."
Valva's former fiancée, 45-year-old Angela Pollina has also been charged related to Thomas' death. She has plead not guilty to charges of second-degree murder and child endangerment. Her trial has not yet been scheduled.