Edward L. Orr allegedly confessed to leaving the scene of the accident that killed John Judge as he crossed Main Street in Amagnsett in October 2012.
Dan Cronin, an assistant district attorney, told East Hampton Town Justice Catherine A. Cahill that the Suffolk County DA's office felt that the bail set should be significant because he is currently on probation for a prior felony and the likelihood Orr will be sentenced to time in an upstate prison.
East Hampton Town police arrested Orr, a 30-year-old Montauk resident, on Thursday afternoon, charging him with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in a fatality, a felony.
Cahill set bail at the amount requested — $250,000 cash, or $500,000 bond.
"Sadly, in view of the seriousness of the charges, together with his background," Cahill said she felt the requested amount was appropriate.
Orr is on probation for a 2009 conviction of third-degree grand larceny, a felony, Cronin said in court.
His legal aid attorney waived a reading of the charges and entered a plea of not guilty on behalf.
She told the judge that Orr is currently unemployed and living with his parents. His last job was with a taxi service.
Orr's parents, Edward and Anitta Orr, sat in the back of the court room. "This is a tragedy for everyone involved," Edward Orr Sr. said. "That's really all I have to say."
Orr is due back in court on Wednesday. If the district attorney's office does not indict him by then, he will be released from the jail, though the DA's office can indict him at anytime.
"You anticipate something occurring between now and then?" Cahill asked Cronin.
"Yes, Your Honor," Cronin said.
East Hampton Town Police Detective Lt. Chris Anderson said earlier that the case was still being reviewed and he would not release many details about how the investigation led to Orr. Charges could be elevated.
Allison Lupo, whose husband Tony Lupo was best friends with Judge, said she expected more emotion from Orr and was disappointed not to see any. She came to court on Friday with her sister-in-law Alda Stipanov, her son Joseph Lupo, and her daughter, Elena Lupo. Coming to court would have been too much for her husband, she said.
"He didn't look sad," Allison Lupo said.
"I don' feel he was sorry at all," Stipanov said. "He destroyed two lives; John's and himself," she said. "And his parents," Joseph Lupo added.
"He could have said something — say sorry. He can talk," he said.
East Hampton Town Councilman Dominick Stanzione, who found Judge bleeding on the street, said he felt compelled to be in the courtroom for the arraignment, as he also knew Judge from around Amagansett. "I feel connected to it. I feel for the families on both sides. It's a tragedy," he said. "I don't want to presume anything."
While waiting for the judge to take the bench, the defendant sat handcuffed in the courtroom, wearing a sweatshirt, jeans and Uggs boots.
Joseph and his sister said their brother Gianfelice and their cousin went to East Hampton High School with Orr, but they didn't know him.
The 2009 charge does not appear to be Orr's only arrest.
n 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.
According to 27East, in July 2008, a 26-year-old Orr was arrested on a charge of second-degree harassment, a violation. "Police said he was intoxicated and became enraged," the report states.
Allison Lupo said she was shocked by his record. "How much can you do before they lock you up for a long time?," she said.