.

UPDATE: Arrest Made in Fatal Hit-and-Run Amagansett Accident

East Hampton Town police say Eddie Orr, of Montauk, is in custody after his Jeep was linked to the October crash.

While police had no witnesses to the hit-and-run accident that killed a 61-year-old pedestrian in late October 2012, detectives cracked the case three and a half months later.

Edward L. Orr, a 30-year-old Montauk resident, was arrested Thursday afternoon in connection with the death of John Judge, East Hampton Town Police Detectives confirmed early on Friday morning.

Orr will be arraigned in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Friday morning on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident, a felony due to the fatality. Asked if the charges would be elevated, Detective Lt. Chris Anderson said, "All I can say is that the matter is under review by us, in conjunction with the Suffolk County District Attorney's office."

In a statement, Orr "was arrested after evidence recovered at the scene was linked to a 2004 Jeep Cherokee owned by Orr and recovered by detectives in New Jersey."

The Jeep is blue, the color detectives asked the community to look out for following the accident, Anderson said.

Anderson would not comment further, as the investigation is continuing. 

Judge, a familiar face in Amagansett where he'd lived for more than a decade, was found unconscious and bleeding on Main Street on Oct. 23. East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione caught a glimpse of something laying next to the tire of a pick-up truck parked eastbound — it turned out to be Judge, who was rushed to Southampton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Judge had just eaten dinner at Astro Pizza, owned by Tony Lupo, his best friend of 42 years. He was crossing the street to go back to his apartment when he was struck.

Reached on Friday morning, just after receiving news of the arrest, Tony Lupo's wife, Allison Lupo, said the family was relieved. "We are so happy to have kept the faith that this person would eventually be found and brought to justice," she said, adding that they are thankful to the police department "that never gave up looking for this person but most of all not forgetting John Judge."

The Lupo family had sort of adopted Judge over the years; he was a fixture at their restaurant and their holiday tables, and joined them for days at the beach and family vacations. "JJ," as he was known, was remembered as kind and generous, despite not having much — the type of person who would leave a big tip for a waiter just because it was a slow night, the Lupos said.

Over the past few months, the Lupos pleaded for the driver to turn himself in.

Orr has been arrested in the past. In November 2011, he was charged with second degree strangulation, a felony, second degree menacing, a misdemeanor, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, also a misdemeanor. According to police reports at that time, the arrest came after a domestic incident. He was released on $1,000 bail. The disposition of that case was not immediately available.

Following the accident, detectives released information regarding the the vehicle involved, in the hopes someone would come forward; they believed it sustained front-end damage, most likely to the front passenger side, including its headlight. Evidence recovered at the scene also indicated that the vehicle had a dark colored metallic paint, possibly blue.

There was $10,000 in reward money posted for information leading to the driver's arrest. , and Amagansett resident Larry Siedlick, who did not know Judge, in hopes of bringing the driver to justice.

In an interview in December — on what was supposed to be Judge's 62nd birthday — his sister Peggy DiLena described the feeling of not knowing who was responsible for her brother's death as a "ripping apart of your heart."

Her family — who live throughout the East Coast — resigned themselves to the idea that the driver would never be found, she said at the time.

"Regardless of how it happened, you can't bring him back. I wouldn't wish that kind of death on anyone," she told Patch. "May God forgive the person who did that — they're going to have to answer to a higher authority eventually."

allison lupo February 08, 2013 at 07:29 AM
This is truly amazing news for our family and Johns... Words will never be enough to Thank the EHTPD and Detectives who never gave up finding Johns killer.... and Taylor Vecsey for her many stories and late night chats... We have kept the faith for many months hoping to hear this news... although it brings closure , we miss John so much. Justice will now be served.. Allison
Bill Graham February 08, 2013 at 07:36 AM
good news.
Shrinkgirl February 08, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Congratulations again EHTPD. Excellent news.
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars February 08, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Truly EXCELLENT news !
kate mueth February 08, 2013 at 12:54 PM
What a relief. This horrible event weighed on my mind so much.
Sofia M. Stipanov February 08, 2013 at 01:28 PM
Allie, such a relief, now JJ can rest in peace and so can your hearts!
Sharon Marie Buckler February 08, 2013 at 01:41 PM
All of our prayers have been answered! Now John can finally rest in peace. And his friends, family and all those who loved him can mourn his death with the hope that justice will be now served.
Jim February 08, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Excellent detective work, thanks to all. But PLEASE... isn't high time to put speed bumps along the road in Amagansett? How many people do we all know who have had to flee menacing motorists indifferent to speed limit regulations? I love to see the police pulling over these morons but there are too many morons and not enough police. So that fewer pedestrians trying to enjoy life may avoid a fate like poor Mr. Judge, SPEEDBUMPS NOW! Is that too much to ask?
Bonac Refugee February 08, 2013 at 04:25 PM
The Town Board over the last few years has been derilict in their duty in reguards to safe lighting due to the pressure of Susan Harder and her Dark Sky Nazis.She blew into town as the answer to a question nobady asked.She has been a one woman crusade against proper lighting and some of the blame for this has to fall on her shoulders.Why the town gave her any credence over public safety I don't know.Maybe this sad tragedy will loosen her grip on the polititians and safer lighting through out the town will happen in the future.
S.B. Bonacker February 08, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Thank you, to all the Detectives and police who never gave up hunting this animal down. Throw him in jail for LIFE. And in John's memory, please, please install better lighting on Main Street in Amagansett! Crosswalks need to be illuminated, and brighter street lights are necessary. It's the darkest stretch driving home at night, and scary because you can't see pedestrians crossing.
Sophie7 February 08, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Well done EH police and co...This scum of the earth has a nasty record. May he suffer the same suffering he has caused others...Coward. May you rest in peace dear John. May justice serve and THEN SOME
Citizen February 08, 2013 at 07:53 PM
Good job by the EHPD. I hope John's family can now find peace. I also hope all of you who commented on October 23rd and turned this into an immigration issue realize how wrong and misguided you are. I pray that your racist mindset changes one day. "Racial Profiling" doesn't work and studies have proven this.
Misty February 08, 2013 at 11:22 PM
It was of comfort to hear that the excellent police force in your area never gave up looking for the person who left Johnny to die on the side of the road. It's still painful to think about but now another life albeit he is still alive and will answer for leaving the scene. It is just such a shame that people can not learn from others and slow down, watch what you are doing and show respect for each other. This was something that shouldn't have happened. Johnny could still be here enjoying life, family and friends but if anything is learned at all from this may it be that life is so short - slow down and please try to enjoy it. God Bless each and everyone of you that thought and prayed for Johnny and his family both there, here and everyone who was lucking enough to know him.
Peggy DiLena February 09, 2013 at 03:06 AM
From the Family of John Judge, we wish to thank all of you for your comments and prayers. We are very grateful to the EHTPD for their diligent work. May John finally rest in peace knowing that the person who ended his life so painfully and abruptly will not go unpunished. Not gone from our hearts, and never to be forgotten. We love you John....
Hamp February 09, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Right on!
Patricia Field February 11, 2013 at 04:03 PM
I am glad to hear that the person responsible was brought to justice so his family and friends find some peace and closure. I never knew John, but my prayers and heart go out to those who were left behind with broken hearts.
Linda Williams February 11, 2013 at 04:17 PM
We can only hope

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something