Angela Pollina found guilty on all counts in murder of LI boy with autism

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Friday, March 10, 2023
Angela Pollina found guilty on all counts in murder of Long Island boy with autism
Angela Pollina was found guilty on all charges in her murder trial after a few hours of jury deliberation on Friday. Stacey Sager has more.

RIVERHEAD, Suffolk County (WABC) -- Angela Pollina was found guilty on all charges in her murder trial after a few hours of jury deliberation on Friday.

Polina is the ex-fiancee of Michael Valva, the former NYPD officer convicted for the murder of his 8-year-old son, Thomas, who had autism.

Prosecutors say the couple forced the little boy to sleep in a freezing garage inside Valva's Long Island home in January 2020.

The boy died of hypothermia.

"The jury has spoken, the story of Michael Valva is at an end, the story of Angela Pollina is coming to an end, but the story of Anthony and Thomas Valva, that continues," said Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney. "We will go forward with the sentencing of the defendant in this case. And then we will continue to look at and try to learn lessons from from what happened in this case, and to take steps to make sure that something like this never, ever again happens in Suffolk County."

Pollina took the stand in her trial on Tuesday and was the only witness called to the stand by the defense.

"She didn't commit the murder, she had no part of it, and she tried to help him," Pollina's defense attorney Matt Tuohy said.

That is what the defense hopes to show in Riverhead.

Pollina's testimony caused some to cringe inside the courtroom, in particular when she said she and her ex-fiancé Michael Valva had agreed that his son needed to sleep in their cold garage in Center Moriches in the dead of winter.

"So, it doesn't discount her wanting him in the garage and exiling him, but that, she's not a part of why he died," Tuohy said.

Their argument all along was that Valva crossed the line.

Thomas and his brother were forced to sleep in the frigid garage in as temperatures outside plummeted to 19 degrees. Thomas froze to death.

"And you're going to see Michael Valva always taking things a step further," Tuohy said. "You know, 'he's a perp I'm gonna put him in handcuffs, I'm gonna give him a bloody nose.'"

In court, Pollina testified to what she witnessed saying, "Michael has the hose on him. I saw Thomas. He was looking at me."

She said she was shocked by what she saw and that on that day, Valva took punishment to whole other level.

She went on to say "Thomas was on the floor and Mike was over him. And I said, 'Get your hand off his mouth.'"

But despite all of this, Pollina said over and over again about Thomas that he didn't appear to be in any "immediate danger."

"She didn't just say, 'Yeah, I don't really care about him' and have depraved indifference," Tuohy said. "She brought blankets to him. She brought a heater to him."

But Thomas Valva was unresponsive later that morning, and Pollina testified that only then did she panic and call 911.

It is a strategy that could very well backfire as the prosecution maintained that Pollina never cared.

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