Man who killed Nicki Minaj’s father sentenced to one year in prison

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Man who killed Nicki Minaj’s father sentenced to one year in prison
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The man who killed Nicki Minaj’s father in a hit-and-run last year has been sentenced to one year in prison after pleading guilty in May.

Charles Polevich admitted to leaving the scene of the incident in Long Island, New York, and tampering with evidence.

The 72-year-old was also ordered to pay a $5,000 (£4,116) fine and had his driver’s license suspended for six months.

Polevich’s lawyer, Marc Gann, suggested his client may have had a medical issue at the time of the crash and that he wasn’t fully aware of what had happened when he fled.

Polevich said in court that he’s “been heartsick since realising the extent of the tragedy” and that there was “no excuse” for his behaviour.

Polevich struck the rapper’s father, Robert Maraj, 64, while Maraj was walking along Roslyn Road in Mineola in February 2021. Polevich stopped briefly to ask Maraj if he was OK, but didn’t call for help, prosecutors said.

Charles Polevich (AP)
Charles Polevich (AP)

Instead, Polevich went home, parked the car — a white, 1992 Volvo station wagon — in his garage and covered it with a tarp, prosecutors said. Maraj was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead the next day.

Maraj’s widow, Carol Maraj, said in court that 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,” Newsday reported.

Prosecutors sought a sentence of one to three years behind bars, but Nassau County Judge Howard Sturim said in May, when Polevich pleaded guilty, that he would get “no more than one year in jail.”

Brendan Brosh, a spokesperson for the Nassau County district attorney’s office, said that “given the severity of the defendant’s conduct,” prosecutors felt a stiffer sentence was warranted.

Nicki Minaj (Getty Images for Billboard)
Nicki Minaj (Getty Images for Billboard)

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

Gann asked for a 90-day jail sentence, arguing that other factors outside of Polevich’s control were partially to blame for the crash, including road construction, street lights that weren’t working and Maraj’s physical condition.

Maraj’s widow, Carol Maraj, is suing Polevich over the crash.

Nicki Minaj, the platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rapper of “Anaconda,” “Super Bass” and other hits, was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and was raised in Queens.

In a post on her website, Minaj called her father’s death “the most devastating loss of my life.”

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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