Riverhead, New York: Thursday, December 8, 2022, Michael Valva was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the 2020 hypothermia death of his 8-year-old son, Thomas.
"I first want to express to you and everyone involved in the case I am truly sorry. I am regretful and ashamed, heartbroken and grief stricken," Valva said addressing a packed court room. "I loved Thomas with all my heart... I did not want my son to die."
In his tearful statement, Valva went on to say, "My actions were neglectful and abusive to my boys resulting in the tragic death of Thomas."
Judge William Condon determined that Thomas' death was a crime of depraved indifference to human life following years of abuse and starvation rather than one of intended homicide.
Judge Condon addressed Valva saying. "I appreciate and I think you are sincere in saying you're sorry, I really do. I don't think you intended to kill Thomas, not at all. But there is no getting around that Thomas and Anthony lived their lives in constant duress in the place they should have felt safest, their own home."
A jury found Valva guilty of the charges against him, including second-degree murder, back on November 4, 2022 following seven hours of deliberation.
Despite the defense attorney's argument for a lesser sentence, citing Valva's years of service as a New York Police Officer, Judge Condon handed down the maximum sentence.
"Your honor, I accept your sentence as I already sentenced myself to a lifetime filled with extreme regret, remorse and grief," Valva said.
Judge Condon expressed relief that the trial was finally over. "This was the most stressful trial I've ever been a part of as either a lawyer or a judge," he was quoted by the NYPost as saying. "Everybody who took part in this trial lost sleep, didn't eat, had nightmares- it was difficult for everyone."
The trial for 45-year-old Angela Polina, Valva's fiancée, is scheduled to begin in February 2023.