Man who fatally struck Nicki Minaj’s father on LI sentenced

MINEOLA, N.Y. (1010 WINS) — The 72-year-old man who killed Nicki Minaj’s father in a hit-and-run crash last year on Long Island was sentenced Wednesday to one year in prison, but will only serve part of that time.

Charles Polevich will only serve eight months of the sentence because he is currently serving time at the Nassau County Correctional Center.

Polevich, who pleaded guilty in May in Nassau County state court, admitted leaving the scene of the February 2021 accident that fatally injured Robert Maraj as he walked along a road in Mineola.

Polevich initially got out of his car and looked at the injured man on the ground, but then drove off, didn’t call 911, garaged his car and covered it with a tarp, authorities said. Polevich pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence by concealing the car.

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

Judge Howard Sturim said at that previous hearing that Polevich would get “no more than one year in jail,” along with community service and a suspended license.

Prosecutors, who sought a one-to-three-year prison sentence, took issue with the planned penalty in May.

“Given the severity of the defendant’s conduct, we disagree with the sentencing commitment from the court,” Nassau County District Attorney’s office spokesperson Brendan Brosh said in a statement.

Polevich’s lawyer, Marc Gann, at the time, called the hit-and-run “completely out of character” for his client, who hails from Long Island but has a drilling and water purification business in Guam.

“He does feel tremendous empathy for Mr. Maraj’s family and tremendous remorse for any role he played in his death,” Gann said by phone after court. He suggested that Polevich might have had a medical problem that made him not “fully aware of what he was doing,” while noting that it wasn’t a legal justification.

The platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rapper — known for tracks including “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 very loved & will be very missed,” she wrote.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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