WARNING: DISTRESSING AUDIO AND VIDEO BELOW
Police Officer Charged with Second Degree Murder
(NY) – Michael Valva, an officer with the New York Police Department, and his fiancée, Angela Pollina, were charged with second degree murder in the death of Valva’s 8-year old autistic son. Valva had custody of his three sons, two of which are autistic. On January 17, 2020, Valva called 911 stating his son (Thomas) had fallen in the driveway and hit his head. He said he put Thomas in the shower then got him dressed. Valva then says his son stopped breathing.
The first police officer to arrive, Long Island officer Cassidy Lessard, testified about Thomas saying “He was cold to the touch.”
Horrendous Abuse and Child Endangerment
Once the medical examiner determined that Thomas died from extreme hypothermia, Valva’s story began to unravel. The criminal investigation quickly discovered that the school the boys went to, called CPS 20 times to report abuse. The boys had “bruises on their bodies, and Thomas had ‘hair pulled from his head at the roots.'” PIX11 also reports, “Thomas reportedly was drenched with so much urine one time that his sneakers squished.”
According to PIX11.com,
Teachers at the boys’ new school sounded alarm bells right away, making at least 20 calls to the New York State child abuse hotline, complaining Thomas and his older brother came to school with pull up diapers and craved food so much that they scrounged around in garbage cans for scraps.
The only thing CPS did was make Valva and Pollina go to parenting classes.
But it wasn’t just the statements of individuals that had police seeking murder warrants. The house had Ring cameras in every single room, including the garage they locked the boys in. Investigators obtained the video and discovered how evil Valva and Pollina really are.
The Murder of Thomas Valva
PIX11 reports that,
Kerriann Kelly talked about Pollina allegedly becoming enraged on January 15, when Thomas soiled his pants in his bedroom while his father was at work.
(Kerriann Kelly being the prosecutor in the case). And that,
“She took a clip of the freezing children and sent it to Valva at 10:42 pm,” Kelly told Judge William Condon.
Kelly described “Thomas shivering, shaking, holding himself because he needed to go to the bathroom, looking into a camera with pleading eyes for someone to help him.”
Officer “Valva allegedly responded, ‘F–k the piece of s–t, Thomas! He is not going anywhere.’” The Ring videos are in dispute. The defense is trying to get them thrown out saying the officers should have gotten a warrant. The officers say that Pollina gave them approval.
Thomas died on the 17th. That indicates that this abuse episode lasted a couple of days. According to the Daily Mail,
The audio files allegedly recorded the couple discussing the fact that Thomas was suffering from hypothermia, had been washed with cold water, couldn’t walk and was ‘face-planting’ on the concrete.
They laughed as they said ‘he’s hypothermic’ and that he had ‘face-planted’ the floor.
Pollina remarked: ‘You know why he’s falling?’.
Valva replied: ‘Because he’s cold…. boo f*****g hoo’.
It was 19 degrees on Thomas’ final night alive.
Child Abuse Directed at Sons with Developmental Disabilities
Child abuse is frequently directed at one child while the rest are treated decently, sometimes even very well. In this case, it appears that both boys who were autistic, were the targets of the abuse. Pollina’s three daughters were also living in the house, along with Valva’s third son who is not autistic. Seeing what was done to the two boys can be considered child abuse, but it seems the physical abuse was only against Thomas and Anthony.
The two boys with developmental issues were beaten, starved, denied water to the point of dehydration. Anthony and Thomas were intentionally put in no-win situations. They were not allowed to go to the bathroom, then were punished if they wet themselves.
According to a YouTube news compilation video, at the 15 minute 50 second mark,
When asked if he needed anything at the hospital, after his son was ultimately pronounced, the defendant replied, “I’ve been through more stressful things than this.”
That’s how little the death of his son meant to Michael Valva.
Second Degree Murder and Child Endangerment
Both Michael Valva and Angela Pollina have been charged with second degree murder and child endangerment. They face 25 years to life if they are found guilty of the charges. Michael Valva was allowed to resign from the New York Police Department which protected his pension. He was also allowed to claim that he could not afford an attorney and was given a court appointed one.