Jul 28, 2014

Driver Staged Second Accident After Fatal Hit-and-Run, DA Says

In addition to a confession, prosecution has physical evidence and cell service information that tie Edward Orr to the Amagansett crash.

Driver Staged Second Accident After Fatal Hit-and-Run, DA Says

During Edward Orr's first appearance in Suffolk County Criminal Court on charges related to a fatal hit and run in Amagansett in October, the prosecution made claims that Orr tried to cover it up by staging a second accident.

Orr, who was arraigned on and pleaded not guilty to a three-count indictment on Friday, purposefully hit a street sign on Montauk Highway, near his house in Montauk, sometime between the night John Judge was killed and Oct. 28, according to Lawrence Opisso, an assistant district attorney in charge of the case. Opisso said Orr then voluntarily had his 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee repossessed.

A grand jury indicted Orr on Wednesday on three charges: leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality, a felony, evidence tampering, a felony related to "staging a second accident," Opisso said, and criminal mischief in the fourth-degree, a misdemeanor, for causing damage to the sign.

Opisso told Judge William Condon that for that reason, coupled with Orr's extensive criminal history, including the fact that he was on probation for a felony, he was considered "a significant flight risk," and he requested bail be set at $300,000 on the indictment.

Montauk-based attorney Gordon Ryan, who has represented Orr on previous cases, asked the judge for bail in "a more manageable number" that Orr's parents could afford, such as $5,000. He said Orr had never missed a court appearance in the past. 

Though Ryan told the judge he did not dispute the prosecution's case, he entered a not guilty plea on his clients behalf.

Condon set bail at $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond — the same amount Orr was already being held on since being arrested one week ago.

"These are very serious charges," Condon said, adding, "Some of the allegations of evasive activities on the part of the defendant are very troubling."

Opisso told the judge that Judge's body was thrown into a parked truck, causing his death on the night of Oct. 23 at about 7:50 p.m. He said police found paint chips and broken pieces of a headlight that are a "physical match" to Orr's Jeep that was ultimately found in an auction lot in New Jersey.

"We are also in possession of cell science that puts Edward Orr in the parameters of the location of the accident," Opisso told the judge.

Orr gave police a five-page confession after he was brought in for questioning last week, but failed to come forward for more than three months, according to the prosecution.

The ADA rattled off Orr's criminal background, which includes a 2009 conviction for grand larceny in the third-degree, for which he is still on probation, and two 2008 convictions for aggravated driving while intoxicated, indicating a higher blood alcohol reading, and unlawfully fleeing a police officer.

Orr is due back in court on March 20. His attorney declined to comment.

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