October 4, 2022


The guide in a accident that killed rapper Nicki Minaj’s father last year was sentenced Wednesday to a year in prison, in line with a promise made by the judge when the man pleaded guilty in May.

Charles Polewicz, who pleaded guilty to leaving the scene and tampering with evidence in the Long Island, N.Y., crash that killed Robert Maraz was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and have his driver’s license suspended for six months.

Polevich’s attorney, Marc Gann, suggested that his client may have had a medical problem at the time of the crash and that he was not fully aware of what had happened when he fled.

Polevich, 72, told the court he had been “upset since realizing the extent of the tragedy” and that there was “no excuse” for his behaviour.

Maraj’s widow, Carol Maraj, told the court that Polevich left her husband “like a dog on the street” and that sparing him a longer prison term was a “slap in the face for the family,” Newsday reported.

Polevich struck Maraj, 64, while Maraj was walking along Roslyn Road in Mineola in February 2021. Polevich stopped briefly to ask Maraj if he was OK but did not call for help, prosecutors said.

Instead, Polewicz went home, parked the car — a 1992 white Volvo station wagon — in his garage and covered it with a tarp, prosecutors said. Maraj was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead the next day.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of one to three years behind bars, but Nassau County Judge Howard Sturim said in May when Polevic pleaded guiltythat he would be “imprisoned for no more than one year”.

Brendan Brosh, a spokesman for the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, said that “given the seriousness of the defendant’s conduct,” prosecutors felt a stiffer sentence was warranted.

“We continue to extend our condolences to the family of Robert Maraj,” Brosh said.

Gann asked for a 90-day jail sentence, arguing that other factors beyond Polevich’s control were partly to blame for the accident, including road construction, malfunctioning street lights and Maraj’s physical condition.

Maraj’s widow, Carol Maraj, is suing Polevich over the accident.

Polewicz, who split his time between Long Island and Guam, where he runs a drilling and water treatment business, turned himself in to police a few days after the crash.

Detectives said they used pieces of surveillance video to track the Volvo involved in the crash at Polevich’s Mineola home.

Nicki Minaj, the platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated rapper of “Anaconda,” “Super Bass” and other hits, was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and raised in Queens.

In a post on her website, Minaj, 39, called her father’s death “the most devastating loss of my life.”



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