The man who killed Nicki Minaj’s father Robert Maraj in a February 2021 hit-and-run incident has been sentenced to one year in prison.
Charles Polevich, 71, struck 64-year-old Maraj while he was walking in the village of Mineola on Long Island, New York.
Polevich drove off without calling emergency services and also hid his car. Maraj was taken to a Nassau County hospital where he died.
Nassau County police were able to track down Polevich’s vehicle using security footage. Polevich was arrested and charged three days after the incident.
“He’s absolutely aware of what happened,” Nassau Police Homicide Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick told CNN. “He got out of the car and he looked at the deceased, got into his car and made the conscious decision to leave. Instead of dialling 911, instead of calling an ambulance for the man, he went and went home and secreted his vehicle.”
Polevich was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an incident involving the death of a person and tampering with or suppressing physical evidence. He pleaded guilty to both charges in May this year.
At the time of the plea, Judge Howard Sturim said that he would sentence Polevich to “no more than one year in jail”.
The District Attorney’s office said it disagreed with Judge Sturim’s projected sentence. “Given the severity of the defendant’s conduct, we disagree with the sentencing commitment from the court,” a spokesperson said at the time.
But Sturim stuck to his pledge and this week sentenced Polevich to a year in jail.
Marc Gann, an attorney for Polevich, said in a statement: “Mr Polevich is extremely remorseful for any role he may have played in Mr Maraj’s death. There are no allegations of substance use or abuse as causative of his conduct and it is our belief that a medical heart issue contributed to Mr Polevich’s conduct.”
Minaj didn’t address the incident publicly until May 2021. The rapper posted a message to her website that said her father’s death had 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. May his soul rest in paradise. He was very loved and will be very missed.”
Meanwhile, earlier this month Minaj fired back at a rumour that she’s $173million (£142.5million) in debt to the IRS, and pinned the false claim on a person pretending to be her manager.
Taking to Instagram Live, Minaj responded to fans mentioning the rumour by ribbing them over their gullibility, quipping: “Every day I learn that y’all [are] gettin’ dumber and fuckin’ dumber.”
Later in the year Minaj will premiere the autobiographical docu-series Nicki on HBO Max.