Brian Golsby asks court to dismiss appeal of his murder case


COLUMBUS – Convicted killer Brian Golsby has changed his mind about appealing his murder case.

Golsby’s newly appointed public defender confirmed to 10 Investigates that Golsby had – in fact – asked an appeals court to dismiss his initial request for an appeal. The court granted that request, court records show.

Records obtained by 10 Investigates show that “Mr. Golsby has indicated that it (is) his wish to forgo an appeal in this matter.” Golsby signed the request on May 22. His attorney, Timothy Pierce, signed it on May 31.

Reached by phone, Pierce declined to answer any questions about why Golsby is dismissing his appeal. When pressed further for clarity, Pierce declined to answer and hung up.

A Franklin County jury convicted Golsby in late March for the 2017 rape, kidnapping and murder of Ohio State student Reagan Tokes. A judge sentenced Golsby to life in prison.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien has filed a cross appeal, arguing that Judge Mark Serrott erred in not requiring Golsby’s defense team to have a certain burden of proof when introducing mitigating factors that ultimately spared Golsby from the death penalty.

Prosecutors Ron O’Brien told 10 Investigates that if his office should win its cross-appeal, his office would seek the death penalty against Golsby again.

A split jury could not reach a unanimous decision about the death penalty with regard to Golsby during his 2018 murder trial. Because of that, the jury recommended a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Judge Serrott agreed, saying that Golsby was alive because of his attorneys’ efforts. His attorneys had argued during the sentencing portion of the trial that Golsby endured a traumatic childhood, was the victim of rape, had an abusive mother and spent years in the Department of Youth Services where he did not receive the proper mental health treatment.

Golsby, who had previously been convicted of robbery and attempted rape, was a registered sex offender and was wearing a GPS ankle monitor at the time he committed the murder along with several robberies in early 2017. Golsby, who had spent most of his life in youth detention and prison, accrued 52 infractions while incarcerated. He was released after serving six and half years, despite acting out while behind bars. Since 1996, Ohio law does not allow convicts to be sentenced to additional time behind bars.

The failure of the state’s parole system to adequately monitor Golsby and other convicted sex offenders, was chronicled in a series of 10 Investigates reports that highlighted those failures. State lawmakers later introduced the Reagan Tokes Act, which seeks to change how violent felons are sentenced to prison and how they’re watched once they are released. Three separate bills addressing this issue are still pending in the Ohio legislature.

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