|March 14--The verdicts against Brian Golsby came in rapid fire: guilty on all counts in the kidnapping, robbery,
rape and aggravated murder of Ohio State University student Reagan Tokes.
Jurors reached their decision Tuesday on the nine charges and multiple specifications that could lead to the death penalty
after about five hours of deliberation on what would have been Tokes' 23rd birthday.
After members of her family heard the first guilty count, they paused and bowed their heads.
Her mother, Lisa McCrary-Tokes, later burst into tears as she embraced Reagan's younger sister Makenzie, who graduated
last year from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and staff were massacred
In closing arguments Tuesday morning, prosecutors cast Golsby, 30, as a cold and calculating hunter who stalked the area
around Ohio State on Feb. 8, 2017, after leaving a Neil Avenue COTA bus. He came upon the Bodega Cafe on North High
Street, where Tokes was leaving her server shift.
"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."
Critical evidence included Golsby's DNA, which prosecutors said was found "everywhere." Golsby also was tracked by his
GPS ankle bracelet, which he was required to wear because of a previous conviction.
The kidnapping, robbery, rape and eventual fatal shooting of Tokes at Scioto Grove Metro Park in Grove City was "every
woman's nightmare," said Jennifer Rausch, another prosecutor. She described Tokes' willingness -- for two hours -- to
comply with Golsby in a bid to save her life, her pleas that she "just wanted to live," and Golsby's attempts to cover his
"Why are you shooting twice if you don't have the purpose to kill her? Why are you holding the gun to her head?" asked
Defense attorney Diane Menashe, who now will try to spare Golsby from death, told jurors that her client wasn't smart
enough to purposely plan such a crime, or be a "master manipulator."
"I submit to you that if Mr. Golsby didn't want to get caught, then perhaps he should not have worn the GPS bracelet," she
said. "Not only that, he charged it ... he didn't want to let the battery die." Menashe said that Golsby instead likely shot
Tokes when he panicked at the park.
The prosecution countered that Golsby knew that she would easily be able to identify him if he let her live.
Menashe also said that DNA found in Tokes, on cigarette butts in her car and elsewhere were matched to an "unreliable"
DNA profile of Golsby from a previous crime in 2010.
Jurors were given the case about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and told that they would be sequestered in a hotel that evening.
But an hour after they left the courtroom, Common Pleas Judge Mark Serrott called them back, admonishing jurors after
learning that one of them had discussed the case with someone -- information based on a phone tip from a concerned citizen.
That juror was then replaced with an alternate.
"I'm sorry that this happened," Serrott told the jury. "You've got to take my orders seriously... I'm sitting up here as a judge,
and I've lost sleep in this case."
Golsby, in a white shirt and with dreadlocks that were pulled back, showed no emotion as the verdicts were read. At one
point, while alone at the defense table as his attorneys looked over the signed juror verdicts, he placed the tips of his fingers
together like a steeple, then turned them inward.
Mrs. Tokes, weeping, nodded in agreement as each jury member was asked on a defense request to confirm the decision.
The sentencing phase of the capital case will begin Friday morning with an expected review of Golsby's upbringing and
reported neglect, which will be part of defense attorneys' efforts to show mitigating circumstances that might lead the jury to
spare Golsby from a death sentence in favor of life in prison without parole.
The Tokes family declined comment after the verdict.
Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said afterward that he wasn't surprised at the verdict.
"If we only proved half of what (evidence) we had," he said, "we would have had more than enough" to meet the burden of