Angela Pollina gets maximum sentence, 25 years to life, in murder of 8-year-old Thomas Valva

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Angela Pollina gets max sentence in murder of 8-year-old Thomas Valva
Angela Pollina was given the maximum sentence of 25 years to life in the murder of 8-year-old Thomas Valva.

RIVERHEAD, Suffolk County (WABC) -- Angela Pollina was given the maximum sentence of 25 years to life in the murder of 8-year-old Thomas Valva.

Pollina 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 said 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 judge on Tuesday called her evil and said she tortured the 8-year-old and his brother.

"My only regret, Miss Polina, is they don't have a garage with no heat and no mattress and no blankets and no pillows," said Suffolk County Court Judge Timothy P. Mazzei.

Family, friends, and supporters of Thomas Valva wore a sea of blue as they sobbed as the prosecutor illustrated his short 8-year-old life and how he died.

"This is a situation that wasn't managed well," said Matthew Tuohy, Pollina's attorney. "Obviously, things went south very quickly and she couldn't manage it."

Pollina was taken away in handcuffs amid an outburst of overwhelming cheers. The court officers had to calm the crowd down.

"Not once did the defendant indicate in any way, shape, or form that she was sorry for what happened to 8-year-old Thomas Valva. An 8-year-old little boy who has now lost his life. Not once, did she indicate that she was simply sorry for what happened, an 8-year-old boy who lived in her house for two years. Not even sorry that he died," prosecutors said.

Pollina's ex-boyfriend cried after the sentence was handed down and gave an emotional tribute to Thomas' biological mother.

Pollina's testimony during the trial 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," her lawyer said.

Their argument all along was that the boy's father, Michael Valva crossed the line. 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 a 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." But Thomas Valva was unresponsive later that morning, and Pollina testified that only then did she panic and call 911.

Michael Valva was also sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars for the murder of his son last year.

Thomas' mother is filing a lawsuit for millions of dollars over the mishandling of her child.

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