The stepmother of an 8-year-old boy who froze to death on Long Island in January 2020 was found guilty of murder on Friday, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office.
Angela Pollina, 45, was found guilty on all counts — second-degree murder and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child — for her role in the death of Thomas Valva, who died the day after sleeping in the garage in the family’s Long Island home in temperatures that dropped under 20 degrees.
Pollina’s conviction comes four months after the boys’ father and her former fiancé, Michael Valva, who worked with the NYPD since 2005, was found guilty of second-degree murder and four counts of child endangerment. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Thomas and his older brother, Anthony, spent 16 hours in the home’s garage without heat as punishment for urinating and defecating in the house, NBC New York reported.
A medical examiner ruled the boy’s death a homicide and found that hypothermia was a major contributing factor. Prosecutors said Thomas and his 10-year-old brother were both on the autism spectrum and were at times forced to sleep in the garage.
“The cruelty that Thomas and his brother had to endure because of this defendant’s callous and selfish conduct is abhorrent, and, thankfully, the jury clearly agreed,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement following the verdict. “Her treatment of these children was nothing short of pure evil.”
The verdict followed a two-week trial in which prosecutors tried to paint Pollina as a “wicked stepmother” who tortured the children and who did not try to help Thomas as she claimed, pointing to the fact that he died of hypothermia and had an internal temperature of 76 degrees when he reached the hospital, according to NBC New York.
Pollina’s attorneys, meanwhile, insisted that she was not responsible for his death.
During the trial, Pollina admitted, when asked, that she did not allow the boys to use any of the four bathrooms inside the home, according to NBC New York.
Pollina was also asked if she thought she had a “duty to protect [the boys] from harm” when she was watching them, or if she treated them differently than the other children. She replied the same way to both questions, saying, “I did the best that I could,” NBC New York reported.
Pollina is expected back in court for her sentencing on April 11, and faces 25 years to life in prison, according to the district attorney’s office.
Pollina’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com.