Polevich, now 71, struck Maraj, 64, while he was walking in the village of Mineola on Long Island, New York. Polevich drove off and hid his car, while Maraj was taken to a Nassau County hospital, where he died. Using security footage, Nassau County police were able to track down Polevich’s vehicle.
“He’s absolutely aware of what happened,” Nassau Police Homicide Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick told CNN. “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 and went home and secreted his vehicle.”
Three days after the incident Polevich was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an incident involving the death of a person and tampering with or suppressing physical evidence. In May of this year, he pleaded guilty to both charges.
At the time of the plea, Judge Howard Sturim said he’d sentence Polevich to “no more than one year in jail,” which frustrated the District Attorney’s office. “Given the severity of the defendant’s conduct, we disagree with the sentencing commitment from the court,” a spokesperson said at the time. Judge Sturim has now followed through on that pledge.
Marc Gann, an attorney for Polevich, said in a statement, “Mr. Polevich is extremely remorseful for any role he may have played in Mr. Maraj’s death. 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.”
In a letter on her website last year, Minaj called the hit-and-run “the most devastating loss of my life. I find myself wanting to call him all the time. More so now that he’s gone. Life is funny that way. May his soul rest in paradise. He was very loved & will be very missed.”
Later this year, Nicki Minaj will appear at Rolling Loud and the yet-to-be-rescheduled Young Money Reunion with Lil Wayne and Drake. Tickets are available here.