Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Hit-and-Run Driver Who Killed Nicki Minaj’s Father Sentenced to a Year in Jail

Screengrab: Nicki Minaj/Instagram

The man responsible for the death of platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rapper Nicki Minaj's father was sentenced to a year in jail on Wednesday.

Charles Polevich, 72, struck Robert Maraj with his Volvo station wagon while the 64-year-old was walking alongside the road in Mineola, New York, in February of 2021.

According to prosecutors, following the incident, Polevich briefly stopped to ask if Maraj was OK. Instead of alerting authorities or seeking help for Maraj, though, he drove home.

Polevich parked his car in the garage and covered it with a tarp. Maraj was later transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead the following day.

Following her father's death Minaj, who was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and raised in Queens, wrote, "It has been the most devastating loss of my life," in a personal message she shared on her website.

Charles Polevich, 70, of Mineola. (Courtesy NCPD)

She added, "May his soul rest in paradise. He was very loved & will be very missed."

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of one to three years behind bars for Polevich. Nassau County Judge Howard Sturim decreed he would get “no more than one year in jail" after he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and tampering with evidence.

Polevich was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and had his driver’s license suspended for six months.
Minaj had yet to comment on the sentencing at press time, but Maraj’s widow, Carol Maraj, who is suing Polevich over the crash, did not mince words. 

According to reporting from Newsday, she said Polevich had left her husband “like a dog on the street” and that sparing him a longer jail sentence was a “slap in the face for the family."

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