ODRC Director acknowledges meeting with Tokes family; declines to answer questions

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AKRON, Ohio -- The director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction would not answer direct questions Thursday when asked if his agency could have done more to address monitoring gaps of paroled felons in the years before the murder of an Ohio State student.

On Wednesday, the parents of slain OSU student Reagan Tokes said their daughter's murder could have been avoided.

"It was preventable. And if the correct parameters and protocols would have been put into place and acted upon in a timely manner, we might not be standing before you advocating for change," Lisa McCrary-Tokes told reporters during a Wednesday news conference.

Lisa and her husband, Toby, joined lawmakers to introduce the Reagan Tokes Act - legislation aimed at creating flexible prison sentences the could punish prisoners who misbehave with longer terms. The bill also seeks tighter enforcement of GPS monitoring for high-risk felons after their release from prison, amongst other things.

The man charged with Tokes' death, Brian Golsby, is a sex offender who was released from prison three months before her death.

Despite being assigned to wear a GPS ankle monitor at the request of ODRC, 10 Investigates has shown Golsby was not closely monitored and did not have exclusionary restrictions in place, which would've prevented him from roaming freely and could've sent alerts to parole officers if Golsby left areas besides work and his assigned residential house.

Instead, authorities say GPS data gathered from Golsby after his arrest for Tokes' murder showed he committed a string of robberies in the weeks leading up to Tokes' crime.

Gary Mohr, ODRC director, has said he supports portions of the Reagan Tokes Act. Specifically, he supports creating indeterminate sentences. Currently, prisoners who misbehave in prison must be released once their terms are up.

Mohr met with the Tokes family Wednesday afternoon.

10 Investigates has repeatedly asked for a sit-down interview with Mohr. Those requests have been denied. Mohr did call the 10TV newsroom on Wednesday, but an aide said the conversation could not be recorded for broadcast. During the call, Mohr did acknowledge that he supports the bill and that as director, the responsibility for change ultimately falls to him.

10 Investigates decided to seek out additional answers from Mohr on Thursday morning, before Mohr spoke at an ODRC conference event in Akron.

When asked about the Tokes' contention that their daughter's death was preventable and if agency could have done more, Mohr would not answer.

"I am focused on this. We are not going to – I’m going to talk about this - but let’s be focused on this event today," Mohr said,

When pressed further about the fact that his department has known for years about hard to place offenders, and asked if his agency could have done anything?

Mohr walked away without answering. A woman he was with said: "We're done."

In his speech before a forum about prison reform, Mohr discussed his conversation with the Tokes.

After his speech, he exited out the back of the stage and left the building.

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