Opening statements begin in Angela Pollina murder trial

Prosecutors say Pollina and her ex-fiance Michael Valva are responsible for the murder of Thomas Valva.

News 12 Staff

Feb 27, 2023, 10:21 AM

Updated 473 days ago


Opening statements started Monday in the murder trial of Angela Pollina.
Prosecutors say Pollina and her ex-fiancé Michael Valva are responsible for the murder of Thomas Valva after forcing him to sleep in a freezing garage. They argue that the defendant "did nothing to save" the child.
The 8-year-old died from hypothermia three years ago after being hosed down in freezing conditions.
While Thomas Valva was collapsing on the morning he died, home cameras captured audio of Pollina telling her child that Thomas was falling because he was "hypothermic."
"She made an observation, 'Hey, he looks hypothermic,'" says defense attorney, Matthew Tuohy. "That doesn't mean she was complicit with it - the actions were already happening."
Pollina's attorney described the case as "simple, complex and tragic," urging the jury not to "get stuck in the mud" and focus on what happened the day of Thomas Valva's death.
James Scahill gave the prosecution's opening statement, claiming that Thomas Valva's death was the result of years of abuse, maltreatment and neglect.
The prosecution described Pollina as the disciplinarian that wanted to exile Thomas Valva and his autistic brother and demanded they sleep in the unheated garage.
The first responder who responded to the scene of Thomas Valva's death also took the stand on Monday. She said the child had no pulse, was pale and cold to the touch.
She said she personally gave Thomas Valva 20-30 rounds of CPR and there was no change in his condition.
Pollina's mother and sister were in court on Monday. At one point, Pollina looked back at them and began to cry.
This is the second murder trial in the death of Thomas Valva. His father, ex-NYPD officer Michael Valva, was convicted in November. Michael Valva is currently serving 25 years to life in prison.
If convicted, Pollina faces the same sentence.

More from News 12