Man Who Fatally Struck Nicki Minaj's Father Pleads Guilty in Hit-and-Run Case

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Nicki Minaj
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The driver who fatally struck Nicki Minaj's father has pled guilty in the February 2021 hit-and-run case.

A spokesperson for the Nassau County Clerk's Office tells ET that 71-year-old Charles Polevich pled guilty on Friday to two felony counts of leaving the scene of a fatality and tampering with physical evidence. The judge in the case said Polevich will get no more than a year behind bars. He'll also get community service and have his license suspended. Polevich will formally be sentenced in August.

According to Newsday, Polevich confessed to striking Robert Maraj in Long Island, New York. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries. At the plea hearing, Polevich also admitted to hiding his 1992 Volvo station wagon under a tarp when he got home in an effort to hide it.

Polevich surrendered to authorities just days after the tragedy. 

“He was absolutely aware of what happened,” Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said at a news conference at the time. “He got out of the car and he looked at the deceased, got into his car, and made the conscious decision to leave instead of dialing 911, instead of calling an ambulance for the man. He went home and secluded the vehicle. He’s well aware of what he did."

According to Newsday, the rapper's mother, Carol Maraj, expressed outrage following the judge's intention to keep Polevich behind bars for less than a year.

"I'm not happy with that...one year in jail," she told the Long Island news outlet. "I'm not happy with that."

Carol has since mounted a $150 million civil lawsuit against Polevich. Marc Gann, Polevich's lawyer, told Billboard his client is "extremely remorseful" for the role he played in the tragic event.

"Mr. Polevich's life story is one of helping others which makes this case so out of character," Gann told the outlet. "There are no allegations of substance use or abuse as causative of his conduct and it is our belief that a medical heart issue contributed to Mr. Polevich's conduct. Mr. Polevich could not be more sorry for the loss of Mr. Maraj."

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