The man who caused the death of Nicki Minaj’s father will spend a year in the slammer.
According to reports, Charles Polevich, the driver who killed Robert Maraj in a hit-and-run accident back in February 2021, was sentenced to serve one year in jail on Wednesday after pleading guilty to two felony charges.
The 71-year-old was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and will have his driver’s license suspended for six months. It’s a much lighter sentence than the seven years he was originally facing; however, Judge Howard Sturim made good on a promise to sentence him to no more than one year in prison.
Polevich’s attorney Marc Gann told People:
“This is just a tragic situation and a situation which if, I think by all accounts, if [he] had stayed at the scene of this accident, this would’ve been a civil matter, not a criminal matter at all. I don’t think he was responsible for the accident, but he was certainly responsible for the conduct after leaving the scene of the accident. And it’s my belief and strong opinion that he suffered from a medical issue, I think a heart issue, that resulted in his leaving the scene of the accident and not being able to recall his conduct or whereabouts thereafter.”
It’s a devastating situation, that’s for sure.
As we initially reported, Nicki’s dad died at the age of 64 after being hit by a 1992 Volvo station wagon while he was walking on Long Island. Robert was rushed to a hospital following the accident and died from his injuries.
Police tracked Polevich down using video footage from neighboring cameras to identify his “distinctive” vehicle. In a press conference shortly after the incident, Nassau County Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said the driver was “absolutely aware of what happened” in the accident, but fled the scene anyway and attempted to hide the car in a detached garage at his home. He added:
“He got out of the car, looked at the deceased, got into his car and made the conscious decision to leave instead of dialing 911 and calling an ambulance for the man. He went home and secreted his vehicle.”
In May, Polevich pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an incident without reporting and tampering with physical evidence. He confessed to hiding his Volvo under a tarp when he went back to his house.
Nicki opened up about the tragedy shortly after the fact, telling fans on her website that her father’s death was “the most devastating loss” of her life.
She wrote in May 2021:
“Tho I can’t really bring myself to discuss the passing of my father as yet; I can say it has been the most devastating loss of my life. I find myself wanting to call him all the time. More so now that he’s gone. Life is funny that way.”
Hopefully the songstress can continue to heal now that a sentencing has been carried out. May her father rest in peace.
[Image via Instagram/Avalon/WENN]