ROCHESTER – A convicted murderer from Chautauqua County is appealing his 2001 conviction of second-degree murder and second-degree robbery.
According to New York State’s Fourth Appellate Division calendar, Nicholas J. Osman’s appeal is scheduled to be heard on Apr. 9. Osman is currently serving a life sentence in Wende Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in Erie County. The former Kennedy resident is, however, eligible for parole in 2038, according to the New York State Department of Corrections website.
Osman is also appealing a 2016 decision that denied his original appeal for a vacated conviction.
Osman was convicted after he, along with Steven D. Bush, Jr., of Frewsburg, beat Robert Olds, 42, of Sugar Grove, to death on the night of Dec. 7, 2000. Olds reportedly stopped to see if Bush, Jr. and Osman needed help, which is when the two men beat Olds to death.
“It was horrible,” former Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace told WNYNewsNow when reached by phone Monday afternoon. “It was around Christmas time…(Olds) was the father of a young child, and his wife had (a medical condition). He tried to help these guys, and they tried to drag him out of his car so they could steal his car.”
According to previous testimony, Bush and Osman beat Olds to death with a tree branch. Prior to Olds’ death, the two allegedly assaulted a cab driver inside his taxi. The driver reportedly fled the taxi and ran into the woods and the two stole his cab in Kiantone, driving it off the road into a ditch on the slick roads. After that, Bush and Osman reportedly walked to a house and allegedly stole a gray Honda Civic parked outside.
Gerace said that the murder scene was the first crime scene that the Chautauqua County Forensic Investigation Team performed at, which he said was “absolutely essential” because there was numerous crime scenes that were being investigated at that time. In addition, the winter weather provided an additional challenge.
The team is comprised of highly trained investigators from various agencies in the County. They respond to serious crimes such as homicides, assaults, rapes, robberies and major burglaries where they work together to collect evidence and reconstruct the crime scenes.
Bush, Jr. is also serving a life sentence for second-degree murder and second-degree robbery in Great Meadow Correction Facility in Comstock, NY. Like Osman, Bush, Jr. is eligible for parole in 2038.
Gerace, however, declined to comment when asked for his thoughts on the appeal.
WNYNewsNow reached attorney Thomas P. Theophilos, who is representing Osman, by phone Monday for comment on the grounds that Osman is appealing on. Theophilos, however, declined comment as the case hasn’t been heard yet.
Current Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson is representing the People of the State Of New York in the Osman appeal. Swanson, when reached by phone Monday, also declined to comment on what grounds Osman’s appeal is based on. Swanson, however, said that his office often handles cases in the Appellate Division.
WNYNewsNow will continue to follow the story for any developments.