The driver who killed Nicki Minaj’s father in a hit-and-run has pleaded guilty to felony charges of leaving the scene of a fatality and tampering with physical evidence on Friday. He will get no more than a year in jail, a judge said.
In February 2021, Charles Polevich, 71, struck and killed Robert Maraj in a hit-and-run. Maraj was 64.
Polevich – who later surrendered – fled the scene after initially stopping and noticing that Maraj was significantly injured, according to police.
(Maraj was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.) Polevich, who lives in Guam but has a house in Mineola, was charged days later. Nassau County Detective Lt.
Nassau County Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said in a press conference at the time that Polevich was driving a 1992 Volvo Station Wagon, a car that’s “more distinctive than modern cars.” Using video footage from the neighboring cameras, police were able to trace the vehicle back to Polevich’s address.
During his plea hearing on Friday, Polevich confessed to striking Maraj before taking off without reporting the crash to authorities. Polevich confirmed he put his Volvo under a tarp in an effort to hide it once he returned home, Newsday reported
Acting State Supreme Court Justice Howard Sturim told Polevich the conditions of the plea deal and said, according to the outlet, “I’ll sentence you to no more than a year in jail.”
Polevich was initially facing up to 11 years behind bars. Instead, after his release, he will complete community service and his license will be suspended, per the news outlet.
The Nassau County District Attorney did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Nicki’s mother and Maraj’s wife, Carol Maraj, expressed her disappointment with the ruling and said, “I’m not happy with that… one year in jail. I’m not happy with that,” according to Newsday.
“I was angry, very, very angry,” Carol told the publication of seeing Polevich in court, adding, “I started to shake because it brought back all the memories of that night when I was sitting in the hospital.”
Continued Carol, who is suing Polevich for $150 million in a civil lawsuit: “I’ll say what I have to say at sentencing,” Newsday said.