The Columbus Dispatch - - Nation&world - Dnar­ciso@dis­patch.com @DeanNar­ciso

He came upon the Bodega Cafe on North High Street, where Tokes was leav­ing her server shift.

“He went out to hunt that night and he found Rea­gan Tokes,” Jimmy Lowe, a Franklin County as­sis­tant pros­e­cu­tor, told jurors. “There’s no mys­tery here.”

Crit­i­cal ev­i­dence in­cluded Golsby’s DNA, which pros­e­cu­tors said was found “ev­ery­where.” Golsby also was tracked by his GPS an­kle bracelet, which he was re­quired to wear be­cause of a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion.

The kid­nap­ping, rob­bery, rape and even­tual fa­tal shoot­ing of Tokes at Scioto Grove Metro Park in Grove City was “ev­ery woman’s night­mare,” said Jen­nifer Rausch, another pros­e­cu­tor. She de­scribed Tokes’ will­ing­ness — for two hours — to com­ply with Golsby in a bid to save her life, her pleas that she “just wanted to live,” and Golsby’s at­tempts to cover his tracks.

“Why are you shoot­ing twice if you don’t have the pur­pose to kill her? Why are you hold­ing the gun to her head?” asked Rausch.

De­fense at­tor­ney Diane Me­nashe, who now will try to spare Golsby from death, told jurors that her client wasn’t smart enough to pur­posely plan such a crime, or be a “mas­ter ma­nip­u­la­tor.”

“I sub­mit to you that if Mr. Golsby didn’t want to get caught, then per­haps he should not have worn the GPS bracelet,” she said. “Not only that, he charged it ... he didn’t want to let the bat­tery die.” Me­nashe said that Golsby in­stead likely shot Tokes when he pan­icked at the park.

The pros­e­cu­tion coun­tered that Golsby knew that she would eas­ily be able to iden­tify him if he let her live.

Me­nashe also said that DNA found in Tokes, on cig­a­rette butts in her car and else­where were matched to an “un­re­li­able” DNA pro­file of Golsby from a pre­vi­ous crime in 2010.

Jurors were given the case about 12:30 p.m. Tues­day and told that they would be se­questered in a ho­tel that evening.

But an hour af­ter they left the court­room, Com­mon Pleas Judge Mark Ser­rott called them back, ad­mon­ish­ing jurors af­ter learn­ing that one of them had dis­cussed the case with some­one — in­for­ma­tion based on a phone tip from a con­cerned cit­i­zen. That ju­ror was then re­placed with an al­ter­nate.

“I’m sorry that this hap­pened,” Ser­rott told the jury. “You’ve got to take my or­ders se­ri­ously... I’m sit­ting up here as a judge, and I’ve lost sleep in this case.”

Golsby, in a white shirt and with dread­locks that were pulled back, showed no emo­tion as the ver­dicts were read. At one point, while alone at the de­fense ta­ble as his at­tor­neys looked over the signed ju­ror ver­dicts, he placed the tips of his fingers to­gether like a steeple, then turned them in­ward.

Mrs. Tokes, weep­ing, nod­ded in agree­ment as each jury mem­ber was asked on a de­fense re­quest to con­firm the de­ci­sion.

The sen­tenc­ing phase of the cap­i­tal case will be­gin Fri­day morn­ing with an ex­pected re­view of Golsby’s up­bring­ing and re­ported ne­glect, which will be part of de­fense at­tor­neys’ ef­forts to show mit­i­gat­ing cir­cum­stances that might lead the jury to spare Golsby from a death sen­tence in fa­vor of life in prison with­out pa­role.

The Tokes fam­ily de­clined com­ment af­ter the ver­dict.

Pros­e­cu­tor Ron O’Brien said af­ter­ward that he wasn’t sur­prised at the ver­dict.

“If we only proved half of what (ev­i­dence) we had,” he said, “we would have had more than enough” to meet the bur­den of proof.


Brian Golsby talks to his de­fense at­tor­ney, Diane Me­nashe, dur­ing clos­ing ar­gu­ments Tues­day of his trial in Franklin County Com­mon Pleas Court.

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