Prosecutors shared new, horrifying details in the alleged abuse of Thomas Valva and his brothers before the 8-year-old froze to death after being left overnight in garage last month.
As the New York Post reports, Michael Valva, 40 and Angela Pollina, 42, both appeared in court in Suffolk County, Long Island, on Thursday as prosecutors announced new charges against the transit cop dad and his fiancee, who are accused of killing Thomas Valva in late January. The 8-year-old boy died the morning he was forced to stay in the unfinished garage overnight when temperatures outside fell to 19 degrees.
“The evidence in this case will show that the defendant failed Thomas and Anthony miserably, instead treating them in a manner that was nothing short of cruel, callous, wanton and evil,” Assistant District Attorney Laura Newcombe reportedly said at the hearing.
The prosecutor said that Thomas and his older brother Anthony, now 10, began to show signs they were being neglected and abused in 2017, after their father was given full custody, and they began showing up to their Center Moriches school hungry. The father allegedly withheld breakfast as punishment when the boys didn’t call Pollina, then his girlfriend, “mommy.”
“[The boys were] eating crumbs off tables and eating out of the garbage and going under the bleachers at the gym to try and find food … They were literally begging for food at school,” she said.
Newcombe also alleged in court that Michael Valva sent his sons to school without adequate clothing, and they didn’t want to go outside for recess because they were too cold.
Two days before he died, Thomas was reportedly captured on video in the garage at the Center Moriches home, which was fitted with multiple security cameras.
The footage showed him “shaking in the freezing cold air and clearly exhibiting signs of his need to use the bathroom in 19 degree weather,” Newcombe said.
Pollina reportedly shared a video of Thomas in the garage to Michael Valva, and asked in a message if the boy would be going to school the next day.
“I have zero clothing for him, f***k the piece of s**t Thomas, he’s not going anywhere,” Valva reportedly said in reply.
Soon after, he sent another message commenting about Thomas’s apparent need for a bathroom, which he didn’t have access to in the garage.
“Geez it seems like he has to go, too bad he doesn’t have a bathroom,” Valva said in a text message, according to prosecutors.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Thomas’s mother Justine Zubka-Valvo said that she hadn’t seen her three sons in two years before Thomas died, despite numerous attempts to regain custody and report her suspicions of abuse. She told CrimeOnline that when she was reunited with her surviving sons after his death, they were ravenous. The mother has been granted temporary custody of the two boys.
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