RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — In one of essentially the most heartbreaking circumstances ever put earlier than a Long Island jury, a choose Thursday sentenced former NYPD officer Michael Valva to the utmost for murdering his 8-year-old son.
CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan, who has coated the tragic abuse case from the start, was within the Riverhead courtroom when Valva spoke for the primary time.
“I am truly sorry,” he mentioned.
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Valva, the as soon as strapping NYPD officer, tried to clarify away the murder of his defenseless son Thomas, who died of hypothermia after being pressured to sleep in a freezing storage.
“I did not want my son to die. I never imagined he would have died. However, I lost my way,” mentioned Valva, who will serve 25 years to life.
The hushed courtroom filled with spectators included academics, neighbors and 9 of the 12 jurors who convicted Valva in November.
“Oh, it was a very emotional trial, very, very emotional,” one particular person mentioned.
“I think we all feel a sense of closure right now,” one other mentioned.
“We saw crocodile tears come from him,” one other added.
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Thomas, a slight boy with hazel eyes who cherished college, was crushed and starved.
“Thomas lived as a prisoner, given a death sentence that was executed, while this defendant will have cell, with a bed, and a blanket, and a pillow, and heat,” Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Keriann Kelly mentioned.
It was practically three years in the past when the then-NYPD officer and his fiancé, Angela Polina, had been arrested and charged with the tortuous demise, and mendacity.
“My name is Michael. I’m a police officer with the City of New York. My son, I don’t know if he’s breathing or not. I don’t know if his heart stopped. He fell down on his way to the bus. He banged his head pretty good. I brought him in. I’m doing CPR right now,” Valva mentioned on a 911 recording.
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Valva and his three sons moved with Polina and her three daughters into a house on Bittersweet Lane in Center Moriches, when the abuse of Thomas and his brother, Anthony, who’re each on the spectrum, started.
“He’s already sentenced himself to a life of torment and regret,” mentioned John Loturco, Valva’s lawyer.
Valva’s attorneys mentioned they took a case that nobody else would.
“I loved Thomas with all my heart,” Valva mentioned.
Judge William Condon grew to become emotional whereas imposing the sentence.
“How did all of us, as a community, allow this to happen? We can never let this happen again,” Condon mentioned.
Thomas’ mom, Justyna Zubko-Valva was not current as a result of she is suing the county and the varsity district, however despatched phrase she is damaged and if Valva isn’t let loose it could deliver some measure of justice.
Valva’s former fiancé, Polina, is slated for a separate murder trial in February.