Thomas Valva’s father is ’emotionally distraught’ over son’s death, lawyer says

Michael Valva appears in a courtroom at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Thursday. Credit: James Carbone

Thomas Valva’s death from hypothermia in an unheated garage was a tragic accident and the boy’s NYPD officer father is “emotionally distraught” over the boy’s death, the man’s new court-appointed attorney said Thursday.

John LoTurco, a Garden City-based defense attorney, was appointed Thursday to serve as a lawyer for Michael Valva, 40, of Center Moriches, after the NYPD officer charged with Thomas’ death was deemed “indigent” and unable to pay for his own attorney.

“Michael Valva is emotionally distraught over the death of his son Thomas Valva, however we contend that Thomas’ death was a nightmarish accidental death and clearly not a murder,” LoTurco said in a written statement he read to reporters after he and his client appeared briefly before Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice William Condon. “Michael Valva is now being portrayed as a monster, when in actuality he’s a caring father of three boys and his fiancees’ three daughters.” Thomas Valva, shown in this undated photo, was eight years old when he died. Credit: Justyna Zubko-Valva Valva, who had a haircut and shave and wore a dark suit that his lawyer had brought to him from his home, did not address the court Thursday.

LoTurco, who was heckled as he defended his client in the hallway of the fourth floor of the Riverhead courthouse, said the garage where Thomas allegedly slept the night before he died was connected to the family home, was […]

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