A jury has convicted a man in the brutal murder of Reagan Tokes, an Ohio State University student who was killed in February 2017.
The jurors deliberated for nearly six hours before convicting Brian Golsby, 30, of kidnapping, robbery, rape and aggravated murder. He now faces sentencing, and is eligible for the death penalty.
Tokes’ family members sat silently in the courtroom as the verdict was read, their heads slightly bowed. Later, according to the Columbus Dispatch , Tokes’ mother burst into tears while embracing Reagan’s younger sister. Golsby showed no emotion as the verdict was read.
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According to court testimony, Tokes usually had a co-worker walk her to her car after her shift as a part-time server at Bodega, a restaurant and bar in Short North, a trendy part of Columbus, Ohio.
But she left the restaurant alone on February 8, 2017. At about 9:45 p.m., Golsby kidnapped her. According to court testimony, he forced her to drive to a nearby ATM and withdraw $60 for him.
Then, according to testimony, he forced her to drive to Scioto Grove Metro Park in Grove City, Ohio. There, he raped her before shooting her twice in the head. Her body was found the following day.
Throughout the trial, prosecutors described Golsby as being cold and calculating. “He went out to hunt that night — and he found Reagan Tokes,” Jimmy Lowe, a Franklin County assistant prosecutor, told jurors. “There’s no mystery here.”
On Tuesday morning, the prosecutor gave her closing arguments, and she spoke about the terror that Tokes must have felt. “He had her for two hours thinking what he’s going to do to her,” Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Rausch told the jurors.
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Defense attorney Diane Menashe disputed the prosecution’s contention that Golsby’s actions were premeditated. “If Mr. Golsby didn’t want to get caught, then perhaps he should not have worn the GPS bracelet,” she told jurors, adding that Golsby likely shot Tokes when he panicked at the park.
The conviction came on what would have been Tokes’ 23rd birthday.
The sentencing phase of the trial begins Friday, when jurors will decide whether Tokes receives the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.