Brian Golsby, the man on trial for the murder of Ohio State student Reagan Tokes, violated his parole three times in the weeks leading up to the crime, according to Ohio Parole Board documents presented in testimony Wednesday, but remained at-large.
Parole office Roger Wicks sat as a witness in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and testified that Golsby had three nonsevere violations — ones that don’t constitute immediate punishment — of his parole by mid-January that constituted a meeting, which could have resulted in Golsby being sent back to prison.
Only that hearing, which was scheduled for no later than Feb. 23, never happened because he was arrested on Feb. 11 for kidnapping, raping and murdering Tokes three days prior.
Wicks said he was a supervisor to parole officer Ryan Hendrix whom Golsby was assigned to as an offender. Looking off the notes of Hendrix, who was not able to testify because of military duty, Wicks said after Golsby was placed on supervision Nov. 13, 2016, the nonsevere violations he committed were a dead battery warning on Golsby’s GPS tracking ankle brace and two instances where Golsby stayed the night with his uncle, not at his parole-approved residence.
There are levels of supervision under the Ohio Parole Board’s “progressive” sanctioning — low, medium, high, very high — Wicks said, with Golsby being listed as needing high-level of supervision. He said the board operates on a three-strike policy with the third violation constituting a summons for a meeting with the parole board officer.
A third-party company monitors the GPS tracking device and is responsible for contacting anyone at the department who is associated with that offender. There are false alarms that occur, so the department is required to validate the alert.
On Jan. 24, 2017, Hendrix contacted the GPS tracking company to see if Golsby was staying within his bounds. Turns out he was not. That was the third violation.
Golsby was notified of a hearing scheduled for no later than Feb. 23, 2017 following his third violation.
Defense attorney Diane Menashe, who represents Golsby with attorney Kort Gatterdam, criticized the parole board’s handling of the violations, specifically the timeframe for scheduling meetings, and the notification system of GPS violations.
Wicks said those meetings take place within a two- to four-week timeframe after the summons.
“You have the ability to arrest someone in your office, do you not?” Menashe asked.
“We have the ability to,” Wicks responded.
“And you take them right there and put them in the local jail,” she said.
“Yes ma’am,” he said.
“Obviously that wasn’t done in this case,” Menashe said.
Wicks said, on average, a parole officer has 90-100 offenders he or she is responsible for at one time.
The trial continues Thursday.