Prosecutors, defense attorneys for Brian Golsby back in court to discuss trial security

Brian Golsby appears in court
Prosecutors, defense attorneys for Brian Golsby back in court

A discussion about courtroom security may have inadvertently pulled back the veil on Brian Golsby’s nine-month jail stay as he awaits his upcoming murder trial.

Golsby is charged with the rape, kidnapping and murder of Ohio State student Reagan Tokes.

During Monday’s pre-trial hearing to discuss courtroom security measures for his upcoming trial, Prosecutor Ron O’Brien asked Sgt. David Reiner with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department whether “anything has happened during the defendant’s confinement that would cause you to add to the normal security that you had described for Judge Serrott?”

Sgt. Reiner then said: “Since the defendant has been incarcerated in our jail, there have been a number of incidents that have been recorded if you like….”

That’s when Judge Mark Serrott interrupted: “Well, let’s hold on a minute…”

Judge Serrott then ordered all news cameras in the courtroom to stop recording.

Attorneys for Golsby along with O’Brien and deputy prosecutors left the courtroom to reconvene the conversation in Judge Serrott’s chambers.

When they emerged, no other details about those alleged incidents were mentioned.

Instead, O’Brien rephrased his question and all parties agreed that there were no outstanding issues that would affect courtroom security during the upcoming February trial.

Reiner said he would likely require four deputies and that Golsby would wear shackles around his ankles.

After the hearing, attorneys for Golsby left without speaking to reporters.

When pressed on the issue and asked directly if there were concerns on prior incidents, O’Brien said: “I would defer to the findings of the judge in the manner that said the shackles and the handcuffs were not necessary not a stun belt, so I wouldn’t have anything to add.’”

Monday’s hearing got off to a slight delay because of one issue that Serrott believes is key to ensuring Golsby gets a fair trial.

Brian Golsby wasn't dressed for court.

Judge Mark Serrott has asked that Golsby wear street clothes for each court appearance. Apparently, that wasn't communicated clearly with sheriff's deputies who had to retrieve his clothes from the jail.

Attorneys for Golsby and prosecutors from Ron O'Brien's office met in Judge Serrott's chambers for a half hour before emerging in the courtroom. Just before going on the record with Monday's hearing that would address, Judge Serrott was made aware of the delay.

Golsby has pleaded not guilty to an 18-count indictment. During Monday’s hearing, Golsby signed off on having count 18 decided by the judge rather than a jury.

Count 18 alleges that Golsby should not have possessed a gun because of his previous felony convictions for robbery and attempted rape. Golsby spoke softly Monday and simply replied “Yes, sir” when asked by Judge Serrott if he understood what he was doing.

10 Investigates broke the news last week of how attorneys for Golsby have asked that the death penalty be taken off the table. They accuse O'Brien's office of being prone to seek death penalty indictments against African-American suspects - an allegation O'Brien denies.

Golsby's attorneys also want evidence surrounding Golby's ankle monitor suppressed. They claim police obtained it improperly by seeking a subpoena instead of a search warrant. O'Brien said the method was appropriate. O’Brien told reporters Monday he would oppose both motions saying “things were all done properly.”

Monday's hearing did not address those three defense motions.

That hearing is set for December 20 where O’Brien said he will likely call on a GPS expert to testify.

Golsby was released from prison with a GPS ankle monitor but records he was not closely monitored.