Sex offender convicted of murder on slain Ohio State student's birthday

Reagan Tokes

WBNS

COLUMBUS, Ohio  -- A jury has convicted a man accused of kidnapping, raping and killing an Ohio State University student. The Franklin County jury in Columbus found Brian Golsby guilty Tuesday.

The 30-year-old registered sex offender could face the death penalty in the slaying last year of 21-year-old Reagan Tokes. The conviction came on what would have been her 23rd birthday, CBS affiliate WBNS reported.

Golsby pleaded not guilty. Messages seeking comment were left for his attorney.

Prosecutors allege the Columbus man kidnapped Tokes after she left work at a restaurant and then raped and killed her. Tokes was shot twice in the head.

Tokes' body was found in February 2017 at a park in Grove City, about 10 miles southwest of Columbus.

Investigators said they found Golsby's DNA in Tokes' her car, which was found not far from where Golsby was living in Columbus. In closing statements, prosecutors called him a "cold blooded killer" and said the evidence against him was overwhelming, reports WBNS.

Golsby's attorney said the DNA was matched to an "unreliable" DNA profile.

Golsby registered as a sex offender after being released from prison before Tokes was killed. He pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in Columbus to aggravated robbery and attempted rape charges in May 2011 and received a six-year sentence.

Tokes grew up outside Toledo. She was a fourth-year psychology major at Ohio State and was due to graduate in May 2017.

Tokes' mother, Lisa McCrary-Tokes, her sister McKenzie wept as the verdict was read, the station reports.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said he was satisfied with the verdict and told reporters that he would ask jurors for the death penalty phase of the trial, which is set to begin on Friday, reports WBNS.

O'Brien reportedly said that Tokes was "everyone's sister, everyone's female family member and this case is a woman's worst nightmare."

Tokes' uncle, Jeff McCrary, issued a statement on behalf of her family after death.

"We will always remember Reagan as a vibrant, loving young woman who embraced life," the statement said. "She made a positive impact on people, was enthusiastic about everything and brought laughter and joy to all who knew her."

The Tokes left the courthouse Tuesday without speaking to reporters. They wore Tiffany blue ribbons, according to WBNS - Reagan Tokes' favorite color.