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Live Updates: Murder Trial of Ex-NYPD Cop Accused in 8-Year-Old's Death Begins

The death of 8-year-old Thomas Valva on Long Island in January 2020 exposed a toxic web of extreme punishment, deceit and terror, prosecutors say. And the blame transcended those accused of his murder

Thomas Valva
Family photos

It was Jan. 17, 2020. Police responded to a call about a boy who had fallen in the driveway of his family's home on Long Island. When cops arrived, the child's father, an NYPD officer, was performing CPR on him in the basement. The boy died.

He was 8. His name was Thomas Valva.

In the days after his death, investigators unraveled a disturbing series of allegations -- repeat, extreme punishment, starvation, being locked in a frigid garage for hours -- at the hands of his NYPD veteran father, Michael Valva, and Michael Valva's then-fiancee, Angelina Polina.

Then came blistering condemnation from Thomas' mother, as the boy's death exposed severe frailties within the family court system that she says allowed the sustained abuse that ultimately took her son's life.

An autopsy found Thomas Valva froze to death. He had two siblings in that home. Both Michael Valva, then a 40-year-old NYPD officer with 15 years on the force, and Pollina were charged with murder in Thomas' death. Both pleaded not guilty.

Now, their trials begin.

Latest updates below:

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