A former NYPD cop charged with murdering his son allegedly left him to freeze to death while his dog slept in a warm room, a court heard.
Michael Valva was arrested along with his ex-fiancée Angela Pollina, 42 after cops said his son Thomas, eight, was left in the unheated garage as temperatures plummeted in Center Moriches, New York last January.
Housekeeper Tyrene Rodriguez, who testified at the pre-trial hearing, recalled the moment she got cleaning items from the room where Valva’s dog Bella slept, WPIX11 reports.
Rodriguez confirmed to prosecutors that the room was heated.
The housekeeper reportedly heard the 8-year-old crying and watched the couple take the youngster to the basement.
Moments later, Pollina reportedly said that Thomas wasn’t breathing and that the housekeeper held his head back as they tried to open his airways.
Tyrene said: He was very blue. His lips were blue.
Valva and Pollina were charged with second-degree murder and face 25 years to life in jail if convicted. Both deny the charges.
It comes after Valva, 40, choked up as a chilling 911 call was played at the pre-trial hearing held at Suffolk County Supreme Court.
The cop reportedly told the phone operator that his son Thomas had “stopped breathing”, the New York Post reported.
He claimed that the youngster had fallen and banged his head.
Michael Valva said: I don’t know if he’s breathing or not. His heart stopped. He banged his head pretty good.
It was heard on the call that Valva questioned the 911 operator as he asked whether it was normal for his son’s stomach to be filling up with air as CPR was being given.
The dispatcher asked: Are you sure he’s not breathing?
Valva reportedly responded: I don’t know to be honest and laughed nervously.
Paramedics arrived at their Long Island home and the 40-year-old can be heard pleading: Please help me.
Thomas was left overnight in his father’s freezing garage when temperatures plummeted last January.
The child’s mother Justyna Zubo-Valva filed a $200million wrongful death lawsuit last June against Suffolk County officials and school representatives, claiming her son’s abuse was apparent before his death.
Assistant Suffolk County District Attorney Kerriann Kelly said last February that Thomas and his brother Anthony, 10, were begging for food and foraging through the garbage at school because they were undernourished.
The ADA said teachers told Pollina and Valva to send the boys with more food, but that didn’t happen.
Footage taken in the house just two days before Thomas died showed both him and his brother in the garage shaking from the cold.
Ms. Kelly said that Thomas said he needed to use the bathroom as he looked at the camera “with pleading eyes for someone to help him”.
The complaint read: Tommy’s death was not only foreseeable but completely preventable.