RIVERHEAD, NY (AP) — A jury on Friday convicted a former New York City police officer of second-degree murder in the death of his 8-year-old son, who was forced to sleep overnight on the concrete floor of a freezing cold garage.

Michael Valva has been found guilty of four counts of child endangerment and faces a possible maximum sentence of 25 years to life. Thomas Valva died in January 2020, a day after sleeping in the garage at the family home on Long Island in temperatures below 20 degrees (minus 6 degrees).

Friday’s verdict came on the first day of trial after a month of testimony.

A coroner ruled the boy’s death a homicide, noting that hypothermia was a major contributing factor. Prosecutors said Thomas and his 10-year-old brother were both on the autism spectrum and were forced to sleep in the garage at times.

According to prosecutors, the boys spent 16 consecutive hours in the freezer garage before the 8-year-old died, Newsday reported. Prosecutors also claimed Michael Valva did nothing to help him when the boy died before his eyes and then lied to police and first responders.

The child endangerment count came from the beating and starvation of both boys. Their teachers testified that, according to the newspaper, the boys came to school with bruises and were often so hungry that they ate crumbs off the floor.

“While there is nothing we can do to bring Thomas back, we are pleased with the jury’s decision,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney said in a statement. “Michael Valva subjected his sons to terrible abuse, neglect and cruelty. He will now pay for shortening the life of a young, innocent, defenseless boy who had a lifetime ahead of him.”

Valva’s then-fiancée, Angela Pollina, is also facing child abuse and second-degree murder and is awaiting trial. She has pleaded not guilty.

https://news.yahoo.com/ex-cop-guilty-murder-freezing-002306699.html Ex-cop guilty of freezing death murder of 8-year-old son

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