Dozens attend wake services held for 8-year-old Thomas Valva

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Wake services were held on Wednesday for 8-year-old Thomas Valva who died earlier this month.

His father Michael Valva, a New York City transit officer, and Micahel's fiancée Angela Pollina, are facing second-degree murder charges in connection to Thomas' death.

Prosecutors say Michael Valva and Pollina forced Thomas to sleep in an unheated garage earlier this month. The 8-year-old died from hypothermia.

Valva and Pollina remain held without bail.

Child welfare activists and community members held a rally on Wednesday at state Supreme Court in Mineola.

The group is demanding several judges be removed from the bench, claiming they ignored reports that Thomas was abused. They say that the judges are corrupt, favoring lawyers who contribute to their re-election campaigns and are directly responsible for the child's death.

Long-time criminal attorney Thomas Liotti wrote a letter to the Judicial Conduct Commission asking for the removal of judges Hope Zimmerman, Joseph H. Lorintz of Nassau Supreme Court and Bernard Cheng of Suffolk Family Court.

Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the New York state court system said in a statement, "The death of Thomas Valva is an unimaginable tragedy. The individuals who were directly involved in his death have been arrested and will face accountability. However, other than the parties directly involved in both the matrimonial and custody cases, no one has any knowledge of the facts and circumstances, along with the emotional issues and inevitable complexities, that lead to the decisions made by three separate judges, in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties, during their numerous court appearances."

Thomas' funeral will be held Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. at Saint Elizabeth Church in Melville. He will be laid to rest at Saint Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale.

Blue ribbons, representing child abuse awareness, were tied inside the funeral and outside to fences and posts inside.

All expenses for the wake and funeral services were covered, and an online fundraiser brought in thousands of dollars.

RELATED STORIES:
Candlelight vigil held in memory of slain 8-year-old Thomas Valva 
DA: Father, fiancée watched 8-year-old boy die in freezing garage in Center Moriches 
Family 'shocked and saddened' by death of 8-year-old boy in Center Moriches 

 

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