The verdict is in. A judge has ruled on the sentencing of the man who pleaded guilty to a hit-and-run that led to the unfortunate passing of Hip-Hop star Nicki Minaj’s father. However, the judge’s decision has the deceased’s widow and Minaj’s mother angry after sentencing Charles Polevich to one year behind bars. In addition the hit and run driver was fined, but the battle is over yet.
The tragedy occurred in February 2021 in Mineola, a village in the Nassau County section of Long Island, NY. The New York Times reports that 64-year-old Robert Maraj was walking along a snowy intersection one evening when a northbound car crashed into him. However, the driver fled the scene instead of sticking around to assist Maraj. The NYT continues to report that Robert Maraj was later taken to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Unfortunately, he would succumb to his injuries the day before Valentine’s Day.
The suspect and driver of the 1992 Volvo that ran into Robert Maraj was identified as Charles Polevich. The NY Post explains from an obtained criminal complaint that upon hitting the deceased, Polevich exited the Volvo to inquire if he was ok. But instead of calling 911, he returned to the automobile and returned to his place of residence.
Charles Polevich is a 71-year-old businessman from Guam, states the Guam Daily Post. He is also the President and owner of Allied Pacific Environmental Consulting Inc., a firm based in Guam. According to the company’s website, they expanded with offices in the Northern Mariana island of Saipan. Polevich also serves as the company’s Lead Hydrogeologist and Senior Project Manager. While his company is active in those territories, Charles Polevich maintains a residence in Mineola, NY. According to an ABC7 report, Charles Polevich had no criminal history prior to the event. However, after fleeing the scene, law enforcement officials describe that he went home and intentionally covered his car with attempts to hide it.
A month after Robert Maraj’s passing, Nicki Minaj’s mother, Carol Maraj, filed a massive civil suit. The suit, worth a whopping $150 million, was announced by her attorneys, Ben Crump and Paul Napoli, on social media. According to the press release, Crump listed their intent was to “hold Polevich responsible for his reckless actions and achieve justice for [Carol Maraj.].” Polevich’s legal team responded with a statement obtained by USA Today. They claim that Charles Polevich was empathetic and expressed “condolences to the Maraj family.” In addition, they addressed the $150 million amount for the lawsuit and called it “shocking, to say the least.” “I don’t believe is in any way reasonable,” Polevich’s attorney Marc. C. Gann said.
Then, in a May court appearance, Charles Polevich entered a guilty plea to the hit-and-run incident. In attendance was Carol Maraj, who was on hand to hear the judge’s planned fate for the accused. According to a report from The Daily Mail, the judge declared that in light of the tragic incident, Polevich was only likely to serve “no more than one year in jail.” In addition, he would have to perform community service and have his driver’s license suspended. This decision left Nicki Minaj’s mother undoubtedly “unhappy,” reports state.
According to the latest report from TMZ, it looks like the judge kept their promise. At the August 3rd court hearing, Charles Polevich was sentenced to one-year incarceration. He will also have his driver’s license suspended for six months and cough up $5,000 in fines. However, this was a much lighter sentence from the seven years it initially carried.
The judge’s decision caused a heightened upset in the Maraj family, along with Nicki Minaj’s fans. The rapper herself has yet to speak on the ruling. However, in the past, she expressed on her official website that she was “devastated” by her father’s passing. One fan reacted on Twitter by sharing, “The fact that they gave the man that killed Nicki Minaj dad 1 YEAR IN JAIL is absolutely crazy and privileged.. it also was a hit and run what?” Another addressed Nicki Minaj and spoke on the “injustice” given to her family. “So many of our love ones from past til now, have experienced this hurt & pain innocent bloodshed bound and chained, God is the one to judge our case, have faith! Sorry about the news concerning your dad. A year smh,” they wrote.