NEW YORK (NBC4 NewYork) — An NYPD officer and his fiancee were indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury in the death of the cop’s 8-year-old son with autism, who was allegedly left to freeze to death in a cold garage after years of verbal and physical abuse.
Investigators arrested 40-year-old Michael Valva, an NYPD officer, and his fiancee, Angela Pollina, 42, on Jan. 24, charging them Thomas Valva’s murder.
On Thursday a judge ordered Michael Valva held without bail after he pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree murder and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The judge also ordered Pollina held without bail on the same charges.
Detectives say the two forced Thomas Valva to sleep in a cold garage at their home at Center Moriches. According to police, by the time the little boy got to a hospital his body temperature was only 76 degrees, possibly indicating an earlier time of death.
Thomas’ mom Justyna Zubko-Valva wept in court, holding his funeral card, as prosecutors detailed the abuse he allegedly suffered.
They described a pattern of verbal and physical abuse, including food deprivation and being denied blankets, pillows, and even clothing. Both came to school, prosecutors said, wearing diapers because they weren’t allowed to use the bathroom at home.
In court, prosecutors claimed some of the abuse was captured on a camera in the garage labeled “the kids’ room” — and that Pollina texted video clips to Michael Valva while he was on the job.
The DA’s office also alleged that the pair mocked the kids in text messages, and that Michael Valva called Thomas a “f—-ing moron” and a “stupid f—-ing son of a bitch” when the boy fell repeatedly in the garage.
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There is a GoFundMe Page for Thomas’ family. You can donate here.