Opening statements begin in Thomas Valva murder trial

Opening statements started Wednesday in the Thomas Valva murder trial.

News 12 Staff

Sep 28, 2022, 9:27 AM

Updated 659 days ago

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Opening statements started Wednesday in the Thomas Valva murder trial.
Former NYPD officer Michael Valva and his ex-fiancée are accused of killing his 8-year-old son.
The prosecution said Michael Valva for months repeatedly kept his two special-needs sons, Thomas and his 10-year-old brother Anthony, in their unheated garage to sleep without bedding.
Prosecutors say the abuse happened for years, and that the children were "slapped, punched and thrown downstairs - showing up to school with scratches and bruises."
The defense team told the jury that the 43-year-old's fiancee at the time, Angela Pollina, was giving the father a hard time about his son's medical and special need issues.
Michael Valva's attorney, Anthony La Pinta, asked the jury to step into his shoes during this time, stating his client was not financially stable and wanted to make things work between his kids and appease his fiancee. La Pinta also claimed that his client did not think his children would die from the conditions they were living in.
"However troubling, however regretful his words and actions were towards his boys, still doesn't amount to murder," La Pinta said.
Detective Cassidy Lessard, of the 7th Precinct, also gave her testimony. She was one of the first on scene and detailed how she found Thomas Valva in the basement and that Michael Valva called 911 an hour after his son fell and hit his head.
Lessard delivered dozens of rounds of CPR with no improvements to the boy's condition. Thomas Valva's body temperature was 76.1 degrees when he arrived at the hospital and Lessard says he was abnormally cold.
News 12 has learned the jury will see and hear graphic evidence during the trial, including in-house video footage and text messages.
Michael Valva's ex-fiancee is also facing charges for Thomas Valva's death, but they are being tried separately.
If convicted on the top charge, Michael Valva faces life in prison.


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