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Long IslandCrime

Gas station clerk killer who went on robbery spree gets 55 to life

Joshua Golson-Orelus, 25, of New Cassel, was sentenced

Joshua Golson-Orelus, 25, of New Cassel, was sentenced Tuesday, July 18, 2017, to 55 years to life in prison. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A New Cassel man who fired a bullet into the heart of an immigrant working a night shift at a Jericho gas station and terrorized victims during 10 other holdups will spend more than five decades behind bars.

A judge Tuesday sentenced Joshua Golson-Orelus, 25, to 55 years to life in prison after his convictions in the clerk’s 2015 slaying and a series of armed store heists, saying he showed “utter disregard for humanity.”

“Never once did you show any emotion, let alone any remorse for your deeds,” acting State Supreme Court Justice Helene Gugerty said as she announced the sentence.

Golson-Orelus, who authorities earlier branded a “one-man crime wave,” will be in his late 70s before he has an opportunity for parole. He had faced life without parole for first-degree murder in the Jan. 28, 2015, killing of BP gas station employee Hany Awad.

In February, a jury found Golson-Orelus guilty of shooting Awad, 56, of Levittown, as the clerk attempted to stop the robbery at his brother’s business.

Prosecutor Michael Walsh said Tuesday that Awad’s murder was “a brutal and senseless act” that extinguished the American dream of an Egyptian immigrant who worked hard to build a successful life. He said Awad’s wife and two children had been planning to join him in New York in less than a month at the time of his killing.

“All the hopes that they had, all the plans that they had . . . were absolutely destroyed by what this defendant did inside that BP station,” Walsh told the judge in Nassau County Court in Mineola.

He said the defendant wasn’t deterred from carrying out more crimes after Awad’s murder, using the same gun a week later to commit a robbery only a half-mile away.

The slaying came amid a six-month robbery spree that targeted gas stations and convenience stores in Westbury, Hicksville, Jericho and East Meadow, authorities said.

A GPS device planted in a money pack nabbed in one of the robberies helped lead to Golson-Orelus’ arrest in Utica in summer 2015.

In addition to first-degree murder, jurors found Golson-Orelus guilty of 10 armed robberies that occurred between the end of 2014 and mid-2015 and netted about $11,000.

Golson-Orelus extended condolences to the victim’s family in court Tuesday while not denying or admitting anything. His current attorney, Mitchell Barnett of Garden City, asked the judge to sentence his client — the father of two children — as fairly as possible.

Gugerty’s sentence included a penalty of 35 years to life for murder, along with 20-year sentences for first-degree robbery convictions that will run consecutive to the murder sentence.

Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas later called the sentence appropriate for a man who “wreaked havoc” in the community for months and caused the death of “an innocent man who was just doing his job.”

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