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Mar 21, 2013 11:37 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

UPDATE: Amagansett Victim's Friends Protest Hit-And-Run Driver's Sentence; Vigil Planned For Monday

Mar 22, 2013 4:33 PM

UPDATE: Friday, 4 p.m.

When Edward L. Orr is sentenced on April 24, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office will seek a sentence of two to six years in state prison, Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota, said in an email on Thursday.

On Friday, friends of victim John Judge were mounting a protest to let the district attorney and Justice William Condon know that they felt that sentence was too lenient.

A candlelight vigil is being planned for 7 p.m. on Monday in front of Astro Pizza, according to Allison Lupo, whose family owns the restaurant and who were close friends of Mr. Judge. The vigil will be held on the south side of Main Street where Mr. Judge was found.

Ms. Lupo said her son, Gianfelice Lupo, “came up with a really good slogan: ‘More for Orr.’” The Lupos drafted a petition asking for “justice for John” on Friday, and the first page of one at Astro Pizza was filled by midafternoon, Ms. Lupo said. Other petitions are at Springs Hardware on Springs-Fireplace Road in East Hampton and at the 27 Inn (formerly the Dutch Motel) on Pantigo Road in East Hampton. They hope to get them to the D.A.’s office before sentencing, “so that the judge can think about it before he agrees to it,” Ms. Lupo said of the recommended sentence.

Original story:

Edward L. Orr, 30, of Montauk, who drove a car that fatally struck a man in Amagansett last October, pleaded guilty to one felony count of leaving the scene of an accident and one felony count of tampering with physical evidence in Suffolk County Criminal Court on Wednesday.

John Judge, 61, of Amagansett was found by East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione on Main Street on October 23 and pronounced dead at Southampton Hospital. After an investigation of over three months, East Hampton Town Police linked evidence at the scene to Mr. Orr’s Jeep Cherokee, which detectives recovered in New Jersey. They arrested Mr. Orr at home on February 7, and he initially pleaded not guilty to the two felony counts before Suffolk County Justice William Condon on February 15. After failing to post bail, he has been in the Suffolk County jail in Riverside since the time of his arrest.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 24. The punishment for leaving the scene of a fatal accident can be up to seven years in jail, and for tampering with physical evidence it can be up to four years. A third charge of criminal mischief was dismissed in light of the guilty plea, according to Suffolk County court records.

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Good police & Prosecutorial work; many of these cases go to trial because the defendant pleads not guilty. Expensive for everyone. But it bothers me that so many folks are leaving the scenes of fatal accidents. 7 years is not much time for a fatal hit and run wher alcohol was the cause, and I have to assume that was the case or he wouldn't have run in the first place. I hope he gets the maximum so we can start sending a message to other violators.
By Funbeer (233), Southampton on Mar 21, 13 12:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
People run because they are scared and think they can get away with it. I'm not sure stiffer penalties would prevent it but I am all for it.
By dnice (2336), Hampton Bays on Mar 21, 13 12:43 PM
I'm not aware of anyone ever going to jail because they missed something and had an accident, even a fatality; they usually have to be guilty of doing another illegal act first. Maybe only speeding, but since speeding reconstructions are not 100% reliable anything short of significant speeding would not make him 100% culpable. I'm not sure of what evidence was compiled to shgow that he was not under the influence of alcohol, or what they could possible come up with months after the fact to eliminate ...more
By Funbeer (233), Southampton on Mar 21, 13 10:48 PM
It is reported elsewhere that the evidence indicates that Mr. Orr was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and that the sentence reflects that.
By PBR (4859), Southampton on Mar 21, 13 5:50 PM
The guy who hit and killed the young Jewish couple up the island is facing life. This piece of garbage hit, killed and tried to cover up, and he gets maybe 7 years. This stopped being an accident and became a homiside the second he drove away. Terrible injustice. He should be doing major time.
By icecreamman (347), Southampton on Mar 23, 13 9:10 AM
1 member liked this comment
i dont think the facts are same.

To my understanding that guy was driving recklessly at speeds in excess of 75+ mph, weaving in and out of traffic. I havent heard of any of those elements being present here. i think the difference in sentencing/charges is that he was deemed to have caused the accident, where here the police have not charged orr with that crime, instead he was charged with failing to report hit and run and covering up.

just my thoughts, not saying one is ...more
By tm (174), mtk on Mar 26, 13 9:16 AM
The thing I wonder is, if the evidence was so good, why would prosecutors even offer a plea bargain? I doubt we'll ever know the answer to that. There has to be more to the story than we know.
By itsamazing (214), Southampton on Mar 27, 13 10:17 PM
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