Driver pleads guilty in accident that killed Nicki Minaj’s father

NEW YORK – A hit-and-run driver pleaded guilty in a New York suburb on Friday an accident in a suburb of New York who killed Nicki Minaj’s father and was promised a year or less in prison, disappointing prosecutors and the hip-hop star’s mother.

In a state court in Long Island’s Nassau County, businessman Charles Polevich admitted leaving the scene of the February 2021 accident that fatally injured Robert Maraj while walking down a street in Mineola.

Polevich first got out of his car and looked at the injured man on the ground, but then drove off, didn’t call 911, parked his car in the garage and covered it with a tarpaulin, authorities said. Polevich pleaded guilty to evidence tampering by hiding the car.

Maraj, 64, died in a hospital the next day.

Judge Howard Sturim said Polevich would get “no more than a year in prison,” along with community service and a suspended license. The 71-year-old is scheduled to be sentenced on August 3.


The victim’s widow, Carol Maraj, told reporters she was “not happy” with the proposed verdict. The widow who sued Polevichsaid seeing him in court made her tremble at the memory of her husband fighting for his life in hospital.

The prosecutors, who called for a prison sentence of one to three years, also questioned the planned sentence.

“Given the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct, we disagree with the court’s sentencing commitment,” Nassau District Attorney spokesman Brendan Brosh said in a statement.

Polevich’s attorney Marc Gann called the hit-and-run scene “completely uncharacteristic” for his client, who hails from Long Island but has a drilling and water treatment business in Guam.

“He feels tremendous sympathy for Mr. Maraj’s family and tremendous remorse for any role he played in his death,” Gann said over the phone after the trial. He suggested that Polevich may have had a medical issue that caused him “not to be fully aware of what he was doing,” while noting that this was not a legal justification.


Messages were sent to representatives for Nicki Minaj, who described her father’s death as “the most devastating loss of my life” in a post on her website last year.

The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rapper — known for tracks like “Anaconda,” “Starships,” and “Super Bass” — was born Onika Tanya Maraj.

In interviews years ago, she described a troubled relationship with her father. But she later said he had changed.

After his death, she wrote about wishing she could pick up the phone and talk to him.

“He was loved dearly and will be greatly missed,” she wrote.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/entertainment/2022/05/06/driver-pleads-guilty-in-crash-that-killed-nicki-minajs-dad/ Driver pleads guilty in accident that killed Nicki Minaj’s father

Callan Tansill

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