The homicide trial of ex-NYPD officer Michael Valva and his then-fiancée Angela Pollina, who’re charged with killing the previous officer’s 8-year-old son Thomas Valva, is anticipated to be delayed once more due to the unfold of the omicron variant, attorneys for the defendants stated Wednesday.
The trial was scheduled to start Monday in Riverhead — practically two years after Thomas’ Jan. 17, 2020 hypothermia demise. However jury choice will probably not proceed as deliberate as a consequence of issues about courthouse staffing, the masks mandate and juror availability amid the newest COVID-19 outbreak, the attorneys stated. The state court docket system reinstated a masks mandate in August amid an outbreak of the delta variant.
“It’s my understanding that the case shouldn’t be going to trial on Monday, however I don’t know when it’s going to be rescheduled,” stated John LoTurco, the protection legal professional for Valva.
Pollina’s legal professional Matthew Tuohy additionally confirmed the trial shouldn’t be continuing Monday.
A spokeswoman for the district legal professional’s workplace didn’t instantly remark.
Valva and Pollina have each been held since their arrests Jan. 24, 2020. They’ve pleaded not responsible to second-degree homicide and youngster endangerment costs within the hypothermia demise of Thomas and the alleged abuse of his brother Anthony, then 10.
Thomas died Jan. 17, 2020 after the defendants pressured him to sleep within the unheated storage of their Middle Moriches dwelling in frigid temperatures, prosecutors have stated.
Valva and Pollina have been initially scheduled to go on trial Oct. 12, however Suffolk County Supreme Court docket Justice William Condon set the January trial date after protection attorneys argued the stricter coronavirus pandemic protocols spurred by the delta variant would damage their purchasers’ talents to get a good trial. The prosecution didn’t object to the delay.
The choose has dominated Valva and Pollina could be prosecuted in a single trial, however two separate juries could be chosen to determine the decision for every defendant. The choose beforehand talked about the logistical points amid the court docket’s coronavirus restrictions of getting two juries of twelve, in addition to alternate jurors, and further court docket officers and different workers in a single courtroom for the trial. He referred to as the state of affairs “not possible.”
Prosecutors have stated they anticipate to name about 36 witnesses.