Peter Rodriguez, 37, was arrested last November and charged with killing George Gibbons, the 37-year-old owner of The Gibbons' Home, a popular bar located on 69th Street in Maspeth, on the morning of Saturday, October 15, 2011.
Rodriguez was allegedly behind the wheel of a car that was going the wrong way down the Long Island Expressway service road at 58th Road when he collided with a livery cab that Gibbons was riding in.
Rodriguez did not appear in court Friday when his lawyer requested the case be adjourned until March. The court cleared out after the judge made the announcement, as most people in the room were Gibbon's friends and family.
“It's a little frustrating,” his sister Bernadette said of the judge's decision as she walked out of the court room.
“The loss of George is hard enough to get through day by day,” she said. “It would just be nice to know the duration that [Rodriguez] will be locked up for once and for all.”
Rodriguez faces a series of charges, including second-degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident and criminally negligent homicide. The most serious charge of manslaughter carries a sentence of anywhere from three to 15 years in prison.
This is not the first time Rodriguez is in trouble with the law. Since 1992 he was charged with 10 felonies and nine misdemeanors, according to records obtained by this paper. He was convicted on four of the felony charges and two of the misdemeanors.
Councilwoman Liz Crowley attended the court date Friday to show support for the Gibbons family. She also said the the judge's decision to deter the proceedings was frustrating.
Crowley said she's been in contact with Rodriguez' lawyer, who told her the defendant admitted his guilt and wants to discuss a plea deal.
“The most frustrating thing,” she said, “is that pleading it down, it just doesn't seem like he'll get enough time.
“He deserves the maximum sentence,” Crowley added, “it seems like there's too many loopholes in the law, and we have to find a way for justice to be served.”