Jury selection underway for man accused of killing Ohio State student Reagan Tokes

Brian Golsby appears in court ahead of jury selection (WBNS-10TV)
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COLUMBUS (WBNS) -- Jury selection began Friday morning for the capital murder trial of Brian Golsby, the man charged with the 2017 rape, kidnapping and murder of Ohio State University student Reagan Tokes.

Golsby appeared in court around 9 a.m. Friday morning wearing street clothes as part of a directive from Judge Mark Serrott. Shackles around his ankles have been taped to reduce any potential noise that prospective jurors might hear.

Defense attorneys for Golsby have been concerned about pre-trial publicity and had asked that the case be moved outside of Franklin County. That motion was denied months ago, but Serrott said he would re-consider if any issues arose.

A pool of more than 200 prospective jurors will be walked through orientation Friday as part of an effort to seat a jury for Golsby’s trial. The court chose a pool based on voter registrations instead of a BMV pool, which was the defense’s request.

The jury selection process is expected to take about a week, Judge Mark Serrott said Friday morning.

Golsby, a convicted sex offender, is accused with the 2017 rape, kidnapping and murder of Reagan Tokes, 21, who was just three months shy of graduating from Ohio State University when she disappeared from the Short North area after leaving work for the night at the Bodega bar. Her body was discovered Feb. 9, 2017 in the Scioto Grove Metro Park. Police say she had been shot twice in the head.

As a convicted sex offender, Golsby had been released from prison homeless about three months prior to Reagan’s disappearance and death. 10 Investigates first reported that Golsby had been assigned a GPS ankle monitor but parole records show he was not closely watched.

What’s more – police say Golsby completed a string of robberies in the German Village area in Columbus in the weeks and even the day leading up to Reagan’s death. Police only checked the data from Golsby’s ankle monitor after his arrest for Tokes’ death. And when they did, police say the data shows Golsby was at each of the robberies as well as at the park where Reagan Tokes’ body was discovered.

Reagan’s parents, Lisa McCrary-Tokes and Toby Tokes have said their daughter’s death was preventable. They recently sat down for an exclusive interview with 10 Investigates to talk about their struggle to cope with the loss of their daughter and their concerns about a system they say failed them.

You can watch that report here.

The Tokes have said that the lax monitoring by Golsby’s parole officers, the community residential housing center and the structure set up by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction allowed their daughter’s death.

As 10 Investigates first reported in November, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction may have violated its own 2016 policy by failing to assign exclusion zones that would’ve restricted Golsby’s movements.

Video surveillance from the Columbus bus system shows he traveled throughout the Short North area the night Reagan disappeared.

10 Investigates also asked the Tokes about another discovery we first reported in November - that Reagan wasn’t the first victim of lax monitoring. There were others who fell victim to paroled felons under state supervision who were not watched and went on to commit additional acts of violence.

You can watch the 10 Investigates November investigation here.

“I think what Lisa and I find difficult – difficult is maybe the wrong word – but surprising – is that we are not the first victim, Reagan wasn’t the first victim. You know that. Everybody knows that these things happen way too frequently. And why somebody didn’t do this before is really surprising to us,” Toby Tokes said.

“I think shocking is the more appropriate term. That’s the thing that we don’t understand,” Lisa added.

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