Mineola, N.Y. (AP) — The hit-and-run driver in a crash that killed rapper Nicki Minaj’s father last year was sentenced Wednesday to a year in jail, according to a judge’s promise. when the man pleaded guilty in May.
Charles Polevich, who pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and tampering with evidence in the accident on Long Island, New York, in which Robert Maraj died, was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and had his driver’s license suspended. drive for six months.
Polevich’s attorney, Marc Gann, suggested that his client may have had a medical problem at the time of the crash and was not fully aware of what had happened when he fled.
Polevich, 72, said in court that he “has been heartbroken ever since he realized the extent of the tragedy” and that there was “no excuse” for his behaviour.
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Maraj’s widow, Carol Maraj, said in court that Polevich had left her husband “like a dog in the street” and that sparing him a longer jail sentence was a “slap in the face to the family,” Newsday reported.
Polevich punched Maraj, 64, as Maraj was walking down Roslyn Road in Mineola in February 2021. Polevich stopped briefly to ask Maraj if she was okay but did not ask for help, prosecutors said.
Instead, Polevich went home, parked the car, a white 1992 Volvo pickup truck, in his garage and covered it with a tarp, prosecutors said. Maraj was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead the next day.
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 receive “no more than one year in jail.”
Brendan Brosh, a spokesman for the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, said “given the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct,” prosecutors felt a more severe sentence was warranted.
“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 beyond Polevich’s control were partially to blame for the accident, including road construction, non-working street lights and Maraj’s physical condition.
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Maraj’s widow, Carol Maraj, is suing Polevich over the accident.
Polevich, who had been dividing his time between Long Island and Guam, where he runs a drilling and water purification business, turned himself in to police a few days after the accident.
Detectives said they used surveillance video clips to track the Volvo involved in the crash to Polevich’s home in Mineola.
Nicki Minaj, the Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling rapper for “Anaconda,” “Super Bass” and other hits, was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and raised in Queens.
In a post on her website, Minaj, 39, called her father’s death “the most devastating loss of my life.”
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