Judge rules in favor of Thomas Valva's mother during custody hearing for her 2 other sons
The mother of the 8-year-old Center Moriches boy who died of hypothermia appeared in family court Monday for a custody hearing for her other two sons.
Judge Frank Tantone ruled in Justyna Zubko-Valva's favor at the hastily scheduled court appearance. Judge Tantone declined a request from Child Protective Services to require a specific set of rules that would govern the amount of times CPS workers would visit the home Zubko-Valva now shares, at least temporarily, with her two surviving sons.
"I'm very thankful the outcome was actually good for me and my children," say Zubko-Valva.
As News 12 has reported, police say Zubko-Valva's son, Thomas Valva, died after being left in a freezing garage overnight. Michael Valva and his fiancee, Angela Pollina, have been charged with second-degree murder and endangering the welfare of a child in the case.
Zubko-Valva was granted temporary custody of the surviving boys, who she says suffered extreme mental, physical and sexual abuse while in the custody of their father.
In court, attorneys representing Suffolk County and the surviving sons say the boys are doing very well. They say authorities have made four visits to the boys over the last 10 days.
Zubko-Valva says her kids, 10-year-old Anthony and 6-year-old Andrew, attended their first day in a new school today. She says instead of picking them up she had to appear in court with barely 24 hours' notice.
"I was looking forward to picking up my kids from their first day of school today," says Zubko-Valva. "Unfortunately I have to come here to keep fighting for justice for them."
Zubko-Valva is set to return to family court for another conference Thursday. Both Michael Valva and his fiancee are expected to attend that conference.