The man charged with killing Nicki Minaj's father, Robert Maraj, in a fatal February 2021 hit-and-run has been sentenced to time in jail. On Wednesday, Judge Howard Sturim sentenced Charles Polevich to one year in jail. Polevich had been facing up to seven years in prison, though his potential jail sentence was significantly reduced after he pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an incident without reporting and tampering with physical evidence, felony charges.
When Polevich entered his guilty plea in May, Sturim said Polevich would get "no more than one year in jail," a sentencing that both prosecutors and the victim's widow, Carol Maraj, contested. However, despite prosecutors arguing that "the severity of the defendant's conduct" warranted a stiffer penalty, Sturim kept his word. TMZ confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Polevich was sentenced to one year behind bar. Per the terms of his plea agreement, he must also pay a $5,000 fine and his driver's license will be suspended for six months.
Polevich's sentencing comes less than two years after the fatal hit-and-run. Nassau County police confirmed in February 2021 that Minaj's father was walking on the road between Roslyn Road and Raff Avenue in Mineola, New York at around 6 p.m. when he was struck by a vehicle. It was later revealed, per NBC News, that while Polevich initially got out of his vehicle and looked at the injured man, he ultimately fled the scene without calling 911. He parked his car in a garage and covered it with a tarp. Maraj, meanwhile, was transported to a local hospital in critical condition but succumbed to his injuries. He pleaded guilty to the allegations in May.
"He does feel tremendous empathy for Mr. Maraj's family and tremendous remorse for any role he played in his death," Polevich's lawyer, Marc Gann, said at the time, calling the hit-and-run "completely out of character" for his client and stating that Polevich might have had a medical problem that made him not "fully aware of what he was doing."
Reflecting on her father's passing just days after Polevich pleaded guilty, Minaj called it the "most devastating loss of my life," adding, "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 was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago. Maraj was reportedly a financial executive and past-time gospel singer who struggled with drug addiction. During her childhood, Minaj's mother Carol Maraj and Minaj moved to The Bronx. Carol later founded the Carol Maraj Foundation to help victims of domestic abuse.