Controversial sentence for the driver who fatally ran over Nicki Minaj's father
In February 2021, rapper Nicki Minaj received the worst news: her father, Robert Maraj, had been fatally run over. The culprit had fled the scene.
A year and a half later, Charles Polevich, responsible for the crash, was prosecuted and pleaded guilty to two crimes: leaving the scene of the accident and altering the physical evidence. The latter he had done when he covered his car with a tarpaulin cloth as soon as he got home.
Photo: Robert Maraj on Instagram, @theofficialcarolmaraj
Despite the seriousness of the charges, Polevich, 72 years old, has been sentenced to just one year in prison, TMZ reports. In addition to this year in prison, he has to pay a 5,000-dollar fine and his drivers license is suspended for six months, as several media report.
The accused said he was "devastated when he realized the seriousness of what happened." His lawyer added that the man had a health problem at the time of the accident. It prevented him from being aware of what happened. It's also the reason he fled the area of the hit-and-run, according to his attorney.
The sentence has been a "slap in the face for the family," according to Carol, the widow of Robert Maraj. According to Newsday, she said in court that the accused had left her husband lying "like a dog in the street."
Photo: Instagram - @theofficialcarolmaraj
Prosecutors had asked for one to three years jail time, while Polevich's lawyer requested three months in prison. The defense pointed at other factors in the accident, unrelated to his client, such as poor lighting on the street and the physical condition of Robert Maraj himself.
On Friday, February 12, 2021, Robert Maraj went out for a walk and never came back. He had been hit by a car and died. The press did not report on the fatal accident until 48 hours later.
The fatal accident took place in the village of Mineola, Long Island, New York. Robert Maraj, 64 years old, was run over by the car of 70-plus-aged Charles Polevich, who immediately fled after the incident.
In the first instance, there were many problems to locate the culprit of the deadly hit. As the sun had already gone down at that time, it became almost impossible to see the details of his vehicle, such as the car model and the license plate, the Nassau County police reported.
Finally, they would manage to identify the 92 Volvo that caused the accident. Meanwhile, days after the hit, Charles Polevich turned himself in.
Despite the seriousness of the accident, Robert Maraj was alive, yet critical, when he got to the hospital. The severity of the injuries ended his life a few hours later.
Nicki Minaj took a long time to talk publicly about the matter. The relationship between the singer and her 64-year-old father was complicated. Still, she shared on Instagram after a few days that his death was "the most devastating loss of my life."
The most complicated thing about the accident is that it came just four months after the singer had given birth to her first child. The father of the baby was producer Kenneth Perry, whom she had married in November 2019.
Photo: Instagram - @nickiminaj
At that time, the singer had temporary retired from music to dedicate herself to motherhood.
"I love music and interacting with fans," she told Billboard magazine, "but I want to be open to other possibilities in my life. I do believe it is important to become a woman outside of the magnifying glass. I have to make sure that I’m well-rounded as a human being," the artist told Billboard magazine.
By now, Nicki Minaj has returned to her work. She's happy with the new generation in her family but also has the bittersweet taste of knowing that the man who took her father's life is serving only one year in prison.