Michael Valva sentenced to 25 years to life in murder of son Thomas Valva
The former NYPD officer convicted of murdering his 8-year-old son Thomas Valva was sentenced Thursday to 25 years to life in prison.
Michael Valva, of Center Moriches, was found guilty of starving his sons Thomas Valva and his 10-year-old Anthony Valva, leaving them out in the freezing cold and then lying to first responders about what happened.
LIVE BLOG: Thomas Valva Murder Trial
On the day of Thomas Valva's death, Michael Valva hosed down his son outside when it was below freezing, yelled at him in an expletive-filled rant and slapped him several times as the child collapsed.
It was determined that Thomas Valva died of hypothermia with his body temperature at 76.1 degrees when it was taken at the hospital.
Lead prosecutor Kerry Ann Kelly said Thomas Valva lived as a prisoner given a death sentence that was executed.
Michael Valva was found guilty on all counts in November.
Speaking through tears, he addressed the court during his sentencing.
"I am truly sorry, I am ashamed, I am heartbroken and grief stricken standing before you having contributed to the death of my son Thomas. I loved Thomas with all my heart," Michael Valva said.
Michael Valva went on to say "My actions were neglectful and abusive to my boys, resulting in the tragic death of Thomas. I lost focus on how to be a good father. I was so wrong and it cost Thomas his life."
Judge William Condon said he doesn't think Michael Valva intended to kill his son, but Thomas Valva and Anthony Valva lived their lives under constant duress in a place where they should have felt safest.
"Everyone who took part in this trial lost sleep, didn't eat, had nightmares, it was difficult for everyone," Condon said.
Valva's attorney said throughout the trial that Michael Valva was not a good father, but he did love his children. They said they plan on appealing the conviction.
"As Michael said in his own words, he sentenced himself to a lifetime of remorse and grief and that summarizes this entire case," said defense attorney John LoTurco.
Michael Valva's ex-fiancée Angela Pollina's trial for the murder of Thomas Valva is set to begin in February.