Driver pleads guilty in crash that killed Nicki Minaj’s dad
A hit-and-run driver was convicted Friday in a crash in suburban New York that killed Nicki Minaj . He was also promised a year in jail, disappointing both prosecutors and the mother of the hip-hop singer.
A state court in Long Island’s Nassau County heard that Charles Polevich, a businessman, admitted to leaving the scene of the February 2021 crash that left Robert Maraj seriously injured as he walked down a Mineola road.
Polevich initially got out of his car and looked at the injured man on the ground, but then drove off, didn’t call 911, garaged his car and covered it with a tarp, authorities said. Polevich pleaded guilty for concealing the car and tampering evidence.
Maraj, 64, died at a hospital the next day.
Judge Howard Sturim stated that Polevich would spend “not more than one year in prison,” as well as community service and a suspended licence. The 71-year-old is due to be sentenced Aug. 3.
Carol Maraj, the victim’s widow, said to reporters that she was not happy with the sentence. The widow, who is suing Polevich said she was shaken by the sight of her husband fighting for her life in the hospital.
Prosecutors, who sought a one-to-three-year prison sentence, also took issue with the planned penalty.
“Given defendant’s severe conduct, we disagree the sentencing commitment of the court,” Brendan Brosh, spokesperson for Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, stated in a statement.
Polevich’s lawyer, Marc Gann, called the hit-and-run “completely out of character” for his client, who hails from Long Island but has a drilling and water purification business in Guam.
“He feels tremendous empathy for Mr. Maraj and great remorse for his death,” Gann stated by phone after the court. He suggested that Polevich may have had a medical issue that made him not “fully conscious of what he was doing,” but it wasn’t legal justification.
Messages were sent to representatives for Nicki Minaj, who called her father’s death “the most devastating loss of my life” in a post on her website last year.
Onika Tanya Maraj, a platinum-selling and Grammy-nominated singer who is best known for songs like “Anaconda,” Starships” or “Super Bass”, was born in 1993.
In interviews, she described a difficult relationship with her father many years ago. She later stated that he had changed.
She wrote that she wished she could call him after his death. In a letter posted on her website last year, Minaj said it has been the most devastating loss of her life.
She continued, “I find it difficult to call him every day.” He’s gone, and it’s even more so. “
- Nicki Minaj
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