A man, Charles Polevich, has been sentenced to one year behind bars for the fatal hit-and-run of rapper Nicki Minaj’s father.
The 71-year-old reportedly left Robert Maraj after running him over in February 2021. Maraj was 64 years old.
“Polevich will also lose his driver's license for six months and pay a fine of $5,000 (over Sh595,000), according to reports. His sentence comes after he pled guilty to two felony charges, including leaving the scene of an incident without reporting and tampering with physical evidence,” Radar Online reports.
According to People magazine, the Police said Polevich fled the scene after initially stopping and noticing that Maraj was significantly injured.
“Maraj was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Polevich, who lives in Guam but has a house in Mineola, was charged days later,” People reports.
Police were able to trace Polevich’s 1992 Volvo Station Wagon back to his address after reviewing footage from neighbouring cameras.
“He was absolutely aware of what happened. 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 dialing 911,” Nassau County Police Detective Steven Fitzpatrick said at a news conference.
In May, Polevich admitted to leaving the crash scene in the Suburban New York neighbourhood, pleading guilty.
“Maraj, who police previously said was Minaj's father, had been walking in Mineola, Long Island, in the evening when he was ‘was struck by a northbound, undescribed, vehicle that left the scene of the accident’,” CNN reported.
Marc Gann, an attorney for Polevich, wrote in a statement that, "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 has opened up about the tragic loss in the recent past, calling it “the most devastating loss of my life.”
" I find myself wanting to call him all the time. More so now that he’s gone. May his soul rest in paradise. He was very loved & will be very missed,” Minaj wrote on an official message on her website in May.