RIVERHEAD, N.Y. – A former New York City police officer was convicted on Friday of second-degree murder in his 8-year-old son’s freezing-related death.
According to The Associated Press, Michael Valva was found guilty of four counts of child endangerment and is facing a maximum possible sentence of 25 years to life.
Valva’s son, Thomas Valva, died on January 17, 2020, a day after he slept in the garage of the Long Island house when the temperature outside was about 19 degrees, according to WPIX.
The verdict came on Friday after the first day of deliberations, according to the AP. It was after a month’s worth of testimony.
According to the AP, a medical examiner had ruled that Thomas Valva’s death was a homicide. They found that hypothermia was a huge contributing factor to his death.
Prosecutors said that Thomas Valva and his 10-year-old brother were both autistic and were forced to sleep in the garage at times, according to the AP.
According to WPIX, witnesses including teachers testified, describing Thomas Valva being “severely underfed” and having visible signs of physical abuse.
Michael Valva’s ex-fiancee, Angela Pollina, is also facing charges of child endangerment and second-degree murder, according to WPIX. She is awaiting trial and had pleaded not guilty.
No further information has been released.
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