His victim -- and once best bud -- John Graziano's family had asked for a year in the slammer, but the judge didn't go quite that far. Nick apologized to the family in his statement, which, according to the Grazianos, would've been the first time he'd ever done so.
John's sister and girlfriend gave particularly heart-wrenching testimony -- the latter told the judge how she had to feed him and how they have to watch movies together in the comfort ... of his hospital bed. UPDATE 3:49 ET: And it looks like they're taking him away. No reaction at all from Nick.
UPDATE 3:47 ET: And here's the sentence ... EIGHT MONTHS IN PINELLAS COUNTY JAIL, STARTING RIGHT NOW. Nick was totally expressionless.
UPDATE 3:45 ET: Judge withholds adjudication!!! But judge points out that sorry ain't the hardest word here ...
UPDATE 3:40 ET: And now, the big ones: adjudication and incarceration. Did you see that big gulp that Nick just took?
UPDATE 3:39 ET: Judge yanks his driver's license for three years. And no drinkin' -- but as the judge points out, he's not 21, and won't be for over three years.
UPDATE 3:37 ET: Here we go: Five years probation, 100 hours of community service per year, one full day in "some positive framework" every month. Sounds a lot less when you put it that way.
UPDATE 3:35 ET: Not for nuthin', but judge sure seems to like to feel the silky-shiny-smooth skin of his face and scalp. Rub away, Your Honor!
UPDATE 3:29 ET: Judge Federico says this wasn't "an accident" and that Nick's driving behavior was "cavalier." Not looking good for Nick, if he's reading the judicial tea leaves.
UPDATE 3:27 ET: We're through with statements and evidence. Now we await the judge's decision, and we're getting a lil' judicial headscratching, literally...
UPDATE 3:26 ET: Weinberg says that Nick's being sued for more money than the Hogan family has. Weinberg says that this is like two sons getting into a car accident together, and asks the judge not to adjudicate. And, finally, he's done.
UPDATE 3:20 ET: Slightly superfluous Latin legal jargon update: Weinberg keeps saying "nolo" to refer to the plea, as in "nolo contendere," which translates into, roughly, "I do not wish to contest."
UPDATE 3:15 ET: He just said Nick "lost" the companionship of his best friend. Attention: John's not dead!
UPDATE 3:08 ET: Sandy Weinberg is blathering on, trying to cushion the blow for Nick. Really, guy? Even your co-counsel Kevin Hayslett looks like he's ready for you to get on with it.
UPDATE 3:06 ET: Ok, who told Brooke Hogan that it was reasonable to wear something from the Fredericks of Hollywood collection to court?
UPDATE 3:03 ET: Nick turns to the Grazianos and apologizes to them, and says he "loved John to death" and that he hasn't driven since August 26, 2007, the night of the crash.
UPDATE 3:00 ET: That guy's done, and now it's Nick's turn.
UPDATE 2:55 ET: Sean Schumura runs The National Wave, a charity for which Hulk -- as it so happens -- is the spokesmeathead. He says Nick worked for them, and -- chamber music claps -- didn't take his $150 per day stipend.
UPDATE 2:52 ET: Nick's mom gets up ... and that's a wedding ring on her left hand!!! Uh, what? (Linda and Hulk are in the middle of a nuclear divorce -- she filed last November.) She says Nick "never meant" to hurt John.
UPDATE 2:49 ET: Dept. of Excuuuuse Me?: Hulk busts his own show: "People think it's reality, but it's scripted!"
UPDATE 2:45 ET: The Hulk -- Terry Bollea's his real name -- steps up: He repeats that John G. was "like a son" and that they went on family trips. Hulk says they sent John PowerBars to Iraq.
UPDATE 2:42 ET: John's mom says, quite eloquently, "I'm not seeking revenge, only justice." And the family and state's witnesses are done.
UPDATE 2:36 ET: Amazing -- the mom is totally holding it together in front of the judge! John's mom Debra Graziano quite resolutely that Nick doesn't seem apologetic -- and begs the judge to find Nick guilty.
UPDATE 2:32 ET: Nick is an idiot, part 879: Ashley says that Nick's license plate COEHSP stands for "Capable of Eluding High Speed Pursuit." Not anymore.
UPDATE 2:27 ET: Ashley Berry, John's girlfriend, is speaking -- trying her best to, at least. She says they were together for seven years. She describes having to watch a movie with him in his hospital bed -- and not knowing if he can hear or understand anything.
UPDATE 2:25 ET: Now up, John's sister Christian Carson. She says that sometimes she tries to call him, and breaks down when she realizes she can't. Tough. And she says that Nick has never apologized for the crash.
UPDATE 2:21 ET: Ed Graziano says that Hulk and Linda haven't been there for John, now or even before, even though they claim he was like a "brother" to Nick. Ed asks the judge to throw the book at him.
UPDATE 2:18 ET: And Ed Graziano continues, saying that he spends 10 hours a day at the hospital with John, and that John will spend the rest of his life with mental and physical disabilities. Hulk is peering over at the Graziano family. Ed says that when Nick went to the hospital to see John, he looked totally bored, and even shot dart guns and skateboarded around the hospital! OMG!
UPDATE 2:14 ET: Prepare for waterworks ... here's the victim's dad, Ed Graziano. He tells the judge about John's decorated service in the Marines. And he says, "What al Qaeda couldn't do to my son, Nick did in a matter of minutes."
UPDATE 2:12 ET: The State wants Nick to admit that this wasn't an accident. Moreover, the prosecution -- through the family -- wants him to do 5 years of probation and 500 hours of community service,
UPDATE 2:09 ET: Rosenwasser shows the judge the twisted remains of the yellow Supra, and says that Nick's speed on that fateful night was "totally unacceptable," especially given Nick's driving record.
UPDATE 2:03 ET: We're told that they're watching post-crash video as well as "very graphic" footage of Nick's buddy John Graziano right after the accident. Nick's face tells the story too.
UPDATE 1:56 ET: The judge, Nick, and his lawyers are watching a videotape.
UPDATE 1:55 ET: The plea of no contest is entered. Now, the tough part -- the judge will listen to testimony and look at evidence to make a decision on Nick's actual sentence.
UPDATE 1:53 ET: And here comes the big plea -- 17-year-old Nick raises his hand, says he's a literate human being with a GED, not under the influence of booze or drugs, is OK with his lawyer, blah blah blah ... and is about to plea no contest with a year of county jail and five years of probation.
UPDATE 1:48 ET: There's a book called "The Power of Now" in front of Hulk -- it's called "A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" and it's by Eckhard Tolle. Nick looks like he'll need some of that.
UPDATE 1:43 ET: Nick's lawyer asks the court if Nick can do any probation in California -- there doesn't seem to be any objection from the judge or the state of Florida.
UPDATE 1:41 ET: The Hulkster is praying, and his wife keeps looking over at the Grazianos. Awkward city. The lawyers are conferring with Nick and Hulk as to what he would do.
UPDATE 1:38 ET: Nick's lawyer seems to be simpatico with up to a year of jail time, and then some form of probation up to five years, and a no contest plea.
UPDATE 1:36 ET: The State says that the victim's family -- the Grazianos -- are asking for a year's jail sentence, and that's what they are asking for.
UPDATE 1:31 ET: Here's Your Honor, Judge Philip Federico -- all rise.
UPDATE 1:28 ET: And there's Nick, and sister Brooke. Nick's wearing a gray suit, and Brooke -- well, she's got bare shoulders. We're told the entire Graziano family is in the house on the other side as well. Uncomfortable to say the least.
UPDATE 1:24 ET: Hulk, Nick, and family have arrived, and they're about to enter the ring.