Today’s news:

Driver pleads guilty in hit-and-run crash that killed beloved Maspeth bar owner: DA

Photos of George Gibbons are placed alongside several thousand fliers during an event held to paper western Queens with images of Peter Rodriguez.
TimesLedger Newspapers

Peter Rodriguez, the man accused of killing Maspeth bar-owner George Gibbons Jr. in a hit-and-run in October, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident Friday, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. Justice Chin Brandt indicated she would sentence Rodriguez, 37, to 3 1/2 to seven years in prison on May 7, according to Brown.

Gibbons Jr. was riding home in the back of a livery cab in the early morning of Oct. 15 when Rodriguez, driving the wrong way on the Long Island Expressway Service Road, struck Gibbons’ Town Car, throwing him forward into the dashboard, the DA said.

Rodriguez fled the scene, and Gibbons was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Rodriguez was arrested Nov. 15 in Connecticut by the Regional Fugitive Task Force, according to the NYPD.

Brown said the sentence was the maximum allowed under the law.

“Hopefully, this guilty plea will serve as a measure of justice for a senseless death,” he said.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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