Angela Pollina found guilty of second-degree murder in Thomas Valva's death

Pollina faces 25 years to life in prison. Sentencing is set for April 11.

Krista McNally and Stephen Levine

Mar 10, 2023, 10:29 AM

Updated 472 days ago


Angela Pollina has been found guilty of second-degree murder and four counts of child endangerment in the death of Thomas Valva.
The jury started deliberating just before 4 p.m. Thursday.
On Thursday, they asked for a written definition of the charges and Dr. Michael Caplan's testimony in regard to hypothermia. A third note was sent Friday morning, asking for a description of murder in the second degree and to describe "depraved indifference."
The jury delivered a unanimous decision at 3:05 p.m. Friday.
Prosecutors argued that Pollina ordered her ex-fiancé's sons, Thomas and Anthony Valva, to live in a freezing garage, which led to the 8-year-old's death.
They said that when Thomas Valva was dying on Jan. 17, 2020, Pollina even tried to hide evidence and make up stories.
"I think unlike other cases, we had the video, and we had the text messages," said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. "It really created a compelling story of what happened to these poor boys."
The jury saw surveillance video of the boys curled up, shivering with no blankets or pillows, sleeping on the floor of the garage and listened to audio of the morning that Thomas Valva died.
Pollina's defense attorney, Matthew Tuohy, argued that it was Thomas Valva's father, Michael Valva, who was responsible for the boy's death. He says they are planning on filing an appeal.
"I am very upset and obviously she is devastated," Tuohy says.
There were six children who lived in the blended household together since 2017. Two with autism were banished into the garage.
The biological father of one of Pollina's daughters was in the courtroom and was brought to tears when the verdict was read.
"Doesn't bring him back, if Tommy didn't die, the kids would stay there and suffer more," said Gino Cali. "Just this whole thing is screwed up, I have been trying to wrap my head around it for three years and can't rationalize it."
Pollina also faces 25 years to life in prison. Sentencing is set for April 11.

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