Murder trial of woman accused in 8-year-old Thomas Valva's hypothermia death begins

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, February 27, 2023
Murder trial of woman accused in child's hypothermia death begins
Opening statements were set to begin Monday in the second murder trial in the death of 8-year-old Thomas Valva. Chantee Lans has the story.

RIVERHEAD, Suffolk County (WABC) -- Opening statements were set to begin Monday in the murder trial of the fiancée of former NYPD officer Michael Valva.

Prosecutors told the jurors that Angela Pollina did nothing to save Thomas's life. Her defense says she didn't kill him.

Pollina appeared in Suffolk County Court for the opening statements in her own murder trial.

The 45-year-old mother and ex fiancé of former NYPD officer Michael Valva has pleaded not guilty to charges of second degree murder and multiple counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Michael Valva's 8-year-old son, Thomas, was autistic and died in January of 2020 after he froze to death. After spending the night in the garage of a home shared by Pollina and Valva.

The day Thomas died prosecutors say Pollina told her daughter that Thomas looked hypothermic after he was hosed down outside in the freezing cold earlier that morning.

Prosecutors said despite knowing Thomas's frail condition, Pollina did nothing to help him and later lied to police about how he died.

"The prosecution wants to talk about the past and I chose to focus on the day," Polina's attorney Matt Tuohy said.

The defense attorney said Thomas's father killed the little boy, not Pollina who was just in the house and lied to police to protect her fiance.

In 2022 Valva sobbed at his sentencing after a jury found him guilty of second degree murder in Thomas's death. He began serving his 25 to life sentence shortly after.

Pollina's mother and sister were in the courtroom Monday. She's expected to take the stand in this trial.

"She's 100 percent going to take the stand and I told the jury, she's going to take the stand to own up to everything she did wrong, and also explain what she didn't do and she didn't commit the crime," Tuohy said. "That the father committed it, that Mr. Valva committed it."

Pollina's trial is expected to last three to four weeks. There are about 25 witnesses expected to take the stand.

MORE: Ex-cop accused of killing autistic son found guilty

Former NYPD officer Michael Valva sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life for murdering his son. Chantee Lans has the story.


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