Death penalty indictment filed against suspect in OSU student’s rape, murder

COLUMBUS (WCMH) –The Franklin County Prosecutor has filed a death penalty indictment against the man accused of kidnapping, raping, and murdering Ohio State University senior Reagan Tokes.

Prosecutor Ron O’Brien made the announcement Friday.

Several of the charges brought against Brian Golsby are related to several assaults and robberies in German Village over a 2-week period.

Golsby faces an 18-count indictment: 1 count aggravated murder with specifications (F), 1 count kidnapping with specifications (F1), 3 counts aggravated murder with specifications (F), 1 count aggravated robbery with specifications (F1), 1 count rape with specifications (F1), 2 counts tampering with evidence (F3), 2 counts aggravated robbery with specification (F3), 4 counts aggravated robbery with specifications (F1), 2 counts kidnaping with specifications (F1), and 1 count having weapons under disability with specification (F3).

READ MORE: Golsby indictment press release

Golsby was released from prison in November. He is currently being held with no bond.

On Friday, Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said that Brian Golsby spent more than two hours with Reagan Tokes on February 8, 2017, after he allegedly kidnapped her in the Short North. He eventually brought her to Scioto Grove Metro Park, where the prosecutor believes she was killed after being shot twice in the head, according to the coroner’s office.

O’Brien said he does not believe Golsby had a specific victim in mind.

“It would appear to me that night he was trolling the entire neighborhood looking for someone like her, who was alone that he could prey upon,” O’Brien said.

According to O’Brien, GPS coordinates from an ankle monitor Golsby was wearing show he started near OSU’s Wexner Medical Center about an hour before Tokes was kidnapped. Eventually, the GPS data shows Golsby making his way to the Short North. O’Brien said investigators believe Tokes was kidnapped near her parked car after leaving her shift at Bodega.

“[Tokes] was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong offender,” O’Brien said.

The GPS coordinates provide a road map for investigators of where Golsby went that night. O’Brien said the tracking device, which is rare for adult parolees, was placed on Golsby by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. The device sends out a signal once per minute to record the location of the person wearing it. It also notes how fast the person wearing it is traveling, O’Brien said, making it possible to tell whether the person is on foot or in a car.

That night, Golsby is accused of carjacking the OSU senior, then taking her to withdraw money from two banks and raping her. O’Brien said the GPS data puts Golsby at Scioto Grove Metro Park for just a few minutes before and after midnight. That’s where he believes Tokes was killed.

As for the four counts of aggravated murder in the indictment, O’Brien said the first one indicates prior deliberation and calculation in killing Tokes.

“Planning. Thought about it. Did it,” O’Brien said. “And he was with her for two hours and 15 minutes before we believe the murder happened.”

The other three aggravated murder charges are for Tokes’ death in the course of committing the robbery, rape and kidnapping, O’Brien said, as a way of not getting punished or caught for those crimes. Each of the four murder charges is eligible for the death penalty.

While the monitoring device Golsby wore isn’t monitored in real time, the coordinates are available and place Golsby at the scene of at least six attacks in the German Village area.

“Pretty likely that absent the GPS device on Mr. Golsby where we can place him at the precise scene of the robberies, when the victims cannot identify him, it would have been hard to pursue those charges,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said a seventh attack in German Village was linked to Golsby but because the victim was punched and no weapon was used, the attack would have been a misdemeanor (simple assault) and was not included in the indictment.

While Golsby served his sentence of six years and was released, the decision was not made by a parole board, O’Brien said. But as a high-risk parolee, ODRC placed Golsby in a halfway house and gave him the ankle monitor. O’Brien said Golsby tried to remove the batteries in the monitor to disable it.

The prosecutor said Reagan Tokes’ family is on board with asking for the death penalty in the murder charges against Golsby.

Golsby will be arraigned Monday afternoon in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

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