A New Cassel man was sentenced Tuesday to 55 years to life in prison for killing a 56-year-old clerk while the assailant was amid a six-month robbery spree in Nassau County.

Joshua Golson-Orelus was convicted in February of first-degree murder, robbery, attempted robbery and criminal possession of a weapon following a five-week-long trial and less than a day of jury deliberations.

“This predator went on a months-long armed robbery spree that terrorized Nassau shopkeepers and senselessly murdered an innocent family man,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.

Prosecutors said the 25-year-old robber was armed with a handgun when he held up 11 gas stations and convenience stores mostly in Westbury, Hicksville and East Meadow between Dec. 20, 2014 and June 14, 2015—and robbing the same 7-Eleven twice in five days.

In one attempted robbery, he shot and killed Hany Awad, who was working at a BP gas station in Jericho at 9:14 p.m. Jan. 28, 2015. Awad, whose brother owned the gas station, died of a single gunshot wound to the chest. The Egyptian immigrant was expecting his wife and children to immigrate to the United States the following month.

After the murder, the gunman held up two more gas stations before Nassau County police spotted him fleeing the scene of a Westbury Citgo robbery, recorded the license number on his vehicle and apprehended him in Utica three days later, authorities said.


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Timothy Bolger is the Editor in Chief of the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.