A New Cassel man was sentenced last week to 55 years to life in prison, for a six-month robbery spree and murder of a gas station attendant.
Joshua Golson-Orelus’ sentencing came five months after the Feb. 15 guilty verdict. The 25-year-old was found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, nine counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree attempted robbery, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and two counts of second-degree robbery.
The trial lasted approximately five weeks and the jury deliberated for less than a day.
“This predator went on a months-long armed robbery spree that terrorized Nassau shopkeepers and senselessly murdered an innocent family man, Hany Awad, whose wife and children were about to travel from Egypt to begin their lives in freedom,” said District Attorney Madeline Singas. “Joshua Golson-Orelus deserves every day of this long prison sentence for his heinous crime, and I am grateful to the Nassau County Police Department and our prosecutors for their outstanding work bringing this defendant to justice.”
Singas said that Golson-Orelus’ robbery spree began in the early morning hours of Dec. 20, 2014, when he robbed a Citgo gas station in Westbury. The defendant committed five more robberies in January, including robbing the Citgo station again on Jan. 17 and robbing the same 7-Eleven location in Hicksville twice in a matter of five days. All of the robberies were committed at gunpoint and most were captured on video.
On Jan. 28, 2015, at approximately 9:14 p.m., the defendant was attempting to rob a BP gas station in Jericho when he shot and killed 56-year-old Hany Awad, who was working at the gas station owned by his brother. Mr. Awad died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. The victim was an Egyptian immigrant who was beginning his American dream. At the time of his murder, Awad’s wife and children planned to immigrate to the United States to join him the following month.
Following the murder, Golson-Orelus robbed two more gas stations in February and another station in March. The defendant’s last robbery occurred on June 14, when he hit a Westbury Citgo that he had robbed on two previous occasions.
After Golson-Orelus fled the location, he was spotted by a Nassau County Police Department officer who pursued him and recorded the license number on the vehicle the defendant was using.
Golson-Orelus was arrested on June 17, in Utica. Police had tracked him to Utica through his cell phone and Utica police assisted with the arrest.
—Submitted by the Nassau County DA’s Office