Outrage at plea deal for hit-and-run driver

March 26, 2013 3:23:01 PM PDT
Friends of a man killed by a hit-and-run driver in the Hamptons are demanding justice.

John Judge was hit by a car last October and the driver fled the scene.

Now that driver has pleaded guilty, but the victim's friends say the sentence he will get is too lenient.

It's been five months, but the image still haunts Dominick Stanzione.

"I walked over. The closer I got its like, oh no. No," Stanzione said.

The East Hampton Town Councilman was the first to find his old friend John Judge splayed out like a rag doll on Montauk Highway.

Police say 30-year-old Edward Orr slammed into Judge on a dark and rainy night and left him to die.

"He was literally wrapped around the front wheel of a car. A parked car. (So he'd been thrown?) Apparently so," Stanzione said.

In a five page written statement, Orr said he'd been distracted by his iPad and thought he hit a deer and continued heading home.

"The next morning, I went outside," he wrote, "saw all the damage to my car. And I realized that what I hit was not a deer."

But despite pleas from family and his lawyer to turn himself in, he was "trying to figure out a way to cover up what I did".

So he hit a stop sign with his car to obscure the evidence and filed a phony insurance claim, and stopped making payments so his car would be repossessed.

Police finally tracked it down at an auction in New Jersey.

"It is a travesty to say the least," said Gianfelice Lupo, the victim's friend.

But back in Amagansett, friends of John Judge want justice for him.

They're furious at prosecutors who accepted Orr's guilty plea in exchange for a slightly reduced sentence.

And they're circulating a petition to present to a judge who they hope will kill the deal.

"There's premeditated murder. He pretty much committed "post" meditated murder. He staged a second accident, he falsified all those documents," Lupo said, "He basically was an accessory after the fact to himself."