The driver accused of killing Nicki Minaj’s father in a hit-and-run last year has pleaded guilty.
As you may recall, her dad Robert Maraj was walking in the village of Mineola, New York, back in February 2021 when he was hit by a 1992 Volvo Station Wagon driven by Charles Polevich. The man fled the scene after stopping to ask “if ‘he was ok.’” The 64-year-old was taken to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Polevich was soon charged and later turned himself in.
Now, the 71-year-old has pleaded guilty to felony charges of leaving the scene of a fatality and tampering with physical evidence. According to Newsday, Polevich appeared in Nassau County court on Friday, where he confessed to hitting Maraj before taking off without reporting the incident to police. He also admitted to placing a tarp over his Volvo in an attempt to hide it once he returned home.
Polevich was initially facing up to 11 years behind bars, but the acting State Supreme Court Justice Howard Sturim announced when telling the man the conditions of the plea deal:
“I’ll sentence you to no more than a year in jail.”
Wow. Following his release, the judge also plans on having him complete community services and to suspend his license. Nicki’s mom, Carol Maraj, expressed her anger over the judge’s ruling, saying to the publication:
“I’m not happy with that… one year in jail. I’m not happy with that. I was angry, very, very angry. I started to shake because it brought back all the memories of that night when I was sitting in the hospital.”
Carol, who is suing Polevich for $150 million in a civil lawsuit, then stated that she’ll continue to “say what I have to say at sentencing” – which is scheduled for sometime in August.
Meanwhile, Polevich’s lawyer Marc Gann told Billboard that he is “extremely remorseful for any role he may have played in Mr. Maraj’s death,” adding:
“Mr. Polevich’s life story is one of helping others which makes this case so out of character. 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. Mr. Polevich could not be more sorry for the loss of Mr. Maraj.”
Nicki has not spoken out about Polevich pleading guilty at this time. However, she previously opened up about her father’s “devastating” death in May 2021, writing in a letter to fans on her website:
“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. May his soul rest in paradise. He was very loved & will be very missed.”
We can only imagine what her family must be going through right now. What are your thoughts on Polevich’s potential sentencing, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF with your reactions in the comments.
[Image via WENN]