Judge denies motion to remove death penalty for suspect in Reagan Tokes murder trial
Brian Golsby’s trial will not be delayed
Two motions proposed by Bryan Golsby's defense attorneys last month were recently denied by Judge Mark Serrott.
The first motion included postponing the trial until state legislature contemplates a bill to abolish capital punishment. The second motion argued for the dismissal of the death penalty on the grounds of "racial disparity in its application" according to WBNS 10TV NEWS.
Defense attorney Kort Gatterdam cited a study claiming Ohio is more likely to execute black defendants to support his motion. The same study also claims cases in which the defendant is black and the victim is white are more likely to lead to execution. Judge Serrott explained Golsby's violent behavior and criminal history make him eligible for the death penalty, not his race.
Gatterdam argued race would play a significant factor in the outcome of the upcoming trial, boldly questioning, "If the state alleged that Brian Golsby was kidnapping, raping and killing an African American girl who left the Taco Bell and went home to her home in Linden, would he face the death penalty?"
Judge Serrott responded to Gatterdam's statement by confirming the punishment sought by the prosecution would be upheld no matter the victim's race or background. He denied the motion to postpone the trial because similar legislation to abolish the death penalty in Ohio has proved unsuccessful in the past. However, Serrott granted the defense's request to have the GPS data from Golsby's ankle monitor thrown out from the trial.
The data from the ankle monitor was collected through a subpoena, but the defense argued collecting the data this way violated Golsby's rights under the Fourth Amendment . The data from his monitor linked Golsby to additional crimes in the German Village area prior to Reagan's death.
Golsby's will stand trial in February.