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Driver That Killed Nicki Minaj's Father In Hit-And-Run Sentenced To One Year

A judge sentenced Charles Polevich to one year for hit-and-run crash that killed Robert Maraj, Nicki Minaj's father. Maraj's widow called the sentence a "slap in the face for the family."

By Constance Johnson
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The New York driver in a hit-and-run crash that killed Nicki Minaj’s father was sentenced to one year in jail on Wednesday.

Robert Maraj's widow — the rapper's mother — was displeased with the sentence.

"One year? That's a slap on the face for the family," Carol Maraj told the judge, according to Newsday.

She said that her husband had several injuries including a cracked skull, crushed pelvis and broken neck and that businessman Charles Polevich, 72, had “just left him like a dog on the street.”

Polevich pleaded guilty in May to leaving the scene of an accident-causing death and tampering with evidence. The Guam-based businessman was also fined $5,000 and his driver’s license was suspended for six months.

Prosecutors were seeking a three-year sentence, but Nassau County Judge Howard Sturim told Polevich when he pleaded guilty that he would get “no more than one year in jail.”

Brendan Bosh, a spokesperson for the Nassau County district attorney’s office said the prosecutors wanted a tougher sentence “given the severity of the defendant’s conduct,” the Associated Press reported.

“We continue to express our condolences to the family of Robert Maraj,” Brosh said.

Charles Polevich Pd

Polevich’s attorney, Marc Gunn, sought a three-month sentence — citing other factors that he said may have contributed to the accident such as road construction, improperly working street lights and Maraj’s physical condition, according to AP.

A,fter the sentencing, Gunn said that an autopsy revealed that Maraj had alcohol and fentanyl in his system, according to Newsday.

Gunn also said his client was not aware of what he was doing on the day of the accident, adding that Polevich, who has a history of heart problems, may have had a cardiac episode when the crash occurred, Newsday reported.

“He has absolutely no recollection of what he did thereafter,” Gunn said.

Gunn said the incident was out of character for Polevich, noting that he “is a man who has given himself to others,” citing his business that delivered clean water to Guam and his involvement with animal rescues.

“I’ve been heartsick since realizing the extent of the tragedy,” Polevich said in court, according to Newsday. He added that he has “deep sadness and remorse.”

He also apologized to Maraj’s family and asked for forgiveness.

Polevich hit Maraj, 64, as the victim was walking on Roslyn Road in Mineola — a village about 20 miles east of Manhattan — in February 2021. He reportedly asked Maraj if he was okay but failed to call 911 or seek any other help. Maraj was eventually taken to the hospital, but died one day later after emergency surgery.

Prosecutors said Polevich went home and parked his 1992 Volvo station wagon in his garage, covering it with a tarp. He turned himself in to police several days after the crash.

Judge Sturim called Polevich leaving the scene a “a cold and callous reaction,” but said his criminality did not cause Maraj’s death, Newsday reported.

Carol Maraj said her family is devastated.

“My children had to celebrate his birthday by looking at his grave,” she said, according to Newsday.

Maraj said that her daughter has been “very, very sad.”

She said before her husband died, he was planning a trip to California to visit Nicki’s baby boy.

“Robert was packed and ready to go see his newest grandson,” Maraj said.