Golsby gets life in prison; parents focus on Reagan Tokes' legacy

Brian Golsby gets life in prison for Reagan Tokes' murder
Reagan Tokes' family speaks after Brian Golsby sentencing
Reagan Tokes' parents read statement in court
Judge delivers sentence in Brian Golsby trial
Jury recommends life in prison for Brian Golsby

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Convicted killer Brian Golsby will spend the rest of his life in prison.

And the only reason, Judge Mark Serrott told Golsby, was because of the work of his attorneys.

"You are standing here because of your lawyers," Serrott told Golsby during his sentencing hearing Wednesday.

A deadlocked jury returned the recommendation of life in prison without the possibility of parole Wednesday morning after spending seven hours stretched over two days deliberating.

Jurors told 10 Investigates that the discussions were emotional and intense.

Juror Courtney Rose told 10 Investigates that jurors were split -- eight for the death penalty; two strongly opposed and two wavering but leaning towards life in prison.

Rose said he thought of Reagan Tokes' parents throughout the trial.

"It tore me up every night," Rose said, referring to the fact that the Lisa McCrary-Tokes and Toby Tokes no longer have their daughter.

Reagan Tokes was kidnapped, robbed, raped and fatally shot on February 8, 2017. Her body was discovered the next day in Scioto Grove Metro Park. She had been shot twice in the head at close range.

Golsby, 30, a convicted sex offender, was on parole at the time of the crime and was assigned a GPS ankle monitor but he wasn't tracked closely, as 10 Investigates has reported extensively.

Judge Serrott had some stinging words for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and its Adult Parole Authority, who was responsible for track Golsby's whereabouts.

"Had he been monitored, this may never have happened," Serrott said.

Lisa McCrary-Tokes spoke during Golsby's sentencing hearing Wednesday saying that Golsby's conviction and sentence "doesn't erase the night of terror" Reagan endured and that it doesn't change the fact that Reagan "didn't get her last wish. She said 'All I want to do is live.'"

Lisa never mentioned Golsby by name - only saying that "terror and evil" took her daughter that night.

Prosecutors alleged that Golsby kidnapped Reagan on the night of February 8, 2017 as she left the Bodega restaurant in the Short North area, forced to drive to ATMs where she withdrew money, sexually assaulted her and then shot her twice in the head at the park.

Golsby initially denied it. Then told police he raped and robbed Tokes but that a man named TJ was responsible for the murder. Detectives later testified they introduced the idea of a second person being responsible to Golsby as he was being questioned as an investigative technique.

Golsby later admitted to the crime to the mother of this child, Jennifer Nickel and her friend, Britney Stepp.

And last Friday, Golsby admitted it to jurors after he was convicted of the crime, asking them to have mercy on him.

They recommended a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

When asked for his reaction after today'a sentencing, Reagan's father Toby Tokes said this:

"He doesn't exist to us. He doesn't exist. He hasn't existed in our world the day we heard his name. This was about Justice for Reagan and I believe that that happened. But we give him no thought. He's gone forever."

Those are the words of a father who has lost his eldest daughter, Reagan.

A young woman who was robbed, raped and killed just three months shy of graduating from the Ohio State University and thoughts of becoming a psychologist.

For her parents, this guilty verdict and a sentence of life in prison for Brian Golsby is just that.

"It doesn't change anything for us. We still walk away from someone who lost a daughter... a sister.. a cousin... a grandchild..."

Lisa was asked by reporters what message she would have for Reagan.

"I just hope that she would be proud. And she knows how much we love her and that doesn't go away."

The end of the trial the Tokes say brings them a new focus -- to change a flawed prison and parole system they and the judge said allowed this crime to happen.

A system the Tokes say allowed a convicted felon on GPS monitor to roam freely, unchecked.

"We need to come together and take a serious look at the laws as they exist and we need to all fight for change There are flaws and it needs to be adjusted."


Previous coverage:

Filed under: