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Reagan Tokes trial: Jury recommends Golsby get life in prison without parole

Brian Golsby will serve a life sentence without parole, per the jury’s unanimous decision. Credit: Matt Dorsey | Engagement Editor

Brian Golsby is recommended to be locked away for life without the possibility of parole for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Ohio State student Reagan Tokes.

After nearly seven hours of deliberation, the jury found there wasn’t sufficient proof over mitigating factors to recommend the death penalty on any of the four counts of aggravated murder with the aggravated circumstances — kidnapping, robbery, rape. The jury recommended a sentence of life in prison without parole.

One juror told reporters that eight of the 12 jurors were in favor of the death penalty while the remaining four were for life in prison.

Sentencing will take place around 3 p.m. Wednesday, where the judge will make his final decision.

Golsby was found guilty of all nine counts of kidnapping, robbery, rape and aggravated murder March 13.

During closing arguments Tuesday morning, the defense presented a troubled, traumatic childhood for Golsby that consisted of sexual abuse and failures in the state juvenile and prison systems. These reasons, the defense argued, were why Golsby should be spared the death penalty despite murdering the 21-year-old psychology student three months before she was set to graduate.

Defense attorney Diane Menashe told the jury she was “effing proud” of Golsby for apologizing for his actions. She humanized the repeated offender in her statement. “He walks, he eats, he breathes,” she said. “Do not kill him.”

The prosecution argued the aggravated murder, along with the rape, kidnapping and robbery of Tokes that Golsby was found guilty of committing, more than outweighed the mitigating factors presented by the defense.

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O’Brien argued Golsby was a “bald-faced liar” who is trying to “wiggle” out of his crimes.

“That man is a disaster sitting there today,” he said. “That disaster that sits there, the only appropriate punishment for the benefit of society … we are entitled to a verdict of death.”

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