A FORMER police officer is accused of years of horrific abuse of his children, which led to the freezing death of his autistic eight-year-old son in 2020.
Opening speeches were held Wednesday at the trial of ex-NYPD police officer Michael Valva. 43
Young Thomas Valva and his 10-year-old brother Anthony were beaten, starved and forced to sleep on dog pads by their father and his former fiancee Angela Polina, said Suffolk Deputy District Attorney Laura Newcombe.
“I’ll beat them until they bleed,” Valva allegedly texted Polina about his children, Newcombe said. “It’s the only thing that works.”
School officials said the children, both of whom have special needs, would come to class in dirty clothes and scour the trash for food.
“They were seen at school literally eating crumbs off the floor,” Newcombe told jurors.
On January 17, 2020, Valva claimed his son fell and hit his head while calling 911. However, prosecutors said the boy was forced to spend the night locked in a garage with no heat.
The police officer reportedly told the operator that his son Thomas had “stopped breathing,” the New York Post reported.
He claimed the boy fell and hit his head.
Valva said: “I don’t know if he’s breathing or not. His heart stopped. He hit his head pretty badly.”
On the call, Valva was heard questioning the 911 attendant when he asked if it was normal for his son’s stomach to “fill with air” while CPR was being given.
The dispatcher asked, “Are you sure he’s not breathing?”
Valva reportedly replied, “I don’t know, to be honest,” and laughed nervously.
Thomas died of extreme hypothermia after spending 16 hours in the garage with his older brother.
The couple were charged with second-degree murder and child endangerment. They are tested separately.
The child’s mother, Justyna Zubo-Valva, filed a $200 million wrongful death lawsuit against Suffolk County officials and school officials last June, claiming her son’s abuse was evident before his death.
According to prosecutors, the boys began abusing the boys in 2017 right after the couple moved into the house at 11 Bittersweet Lane in central Moriches.
Polina’s three daughters also lived in the house.
One of Valva’s lawyers blamed Polina for Thomas’ death, arguing that the father looked the other way to maintain his relationship with her.
“He tried his best to salvage the relationship,” attorney Anthony La Pinta said. “Eleven Bittersweet Lane was getting more bitter by the day.”
La Pinta added that Polina complained that Valva was “too comfortable” with his kids.
The father would give his boys mattresses, blankets, books and a TV, but La Pinta claimed Polina would not allow the children to keep it after they soiled themselves.
“It wasn’t a senseless act of evil,” La Pinta said. “You have to think with your head and not with your heart.”
If convicted, Valva could spend the rest of his life in prison.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6334875/michael-valva-son-thomas-freezing-death-trial-update/ Horror details emerge after father ‘forced son to sleep on dog pads and dig through school rubbish before boy froze to death’