State v. Golsby

Full title: State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Brian L. Golsby, Defendant-Appellee.


Date published: Sep 29, 2020


By indictment filed March 31, 2017, the state charged Golsby with four counts of aggravated murder, in violation of R.C. 2903.01, all unclassified felonies, and all containing four accompanying capital specifications; three counts of kidnapping in violation of R.C. 2905.01, first-degree felonies; seven counts of aggravated robbery in violation of R.C. 2911.01, first-degree felonies; one count of rape in violation of R.C. 2907.02, a first-degree felony; two counts of tampering with evidence in violation of R.C. 2921.12, third-degree felonies; and one count of having weapons while under disability in violation of R.C. 2923.13, a third-degree felony. The indictment contained numerous firearm specifications, repeat violent offender (“RVO”) specifications, sexually violent predator specifications, and a sexual motivation specification. Of the 18 counts contained in the indictment, ten related to the aggravated murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and rape of Reagan Tokes on February 8 to 9, 2017. The remaining eight charges were related to a series of aggravated robberies involving six different victims occurring from January 24 to February 7, 2017. Golsby entered a plea of not guilty.

{¶ 3} The trial court ordered a separate trial for the ten counts related to Tokes. In March 2018, the matter proceeded to a jury trial on all counts except for the having weapons under disability count and several of the accompanying specifications. After the trial, a jury found Golsby guilty on all counts, namely four counts of aggravated murder, one count of kidnapping, one count of aggravated robbery, one count of rape, and two counts of tampering with evidence, along with all capital and firearm specifications submitted to it. The trial court, under a bench trial, found Golsby guilty of having weapons under disability count, the sexual motivation specification, the sexually violent predator specification, and the RVO specifications.



The trial jury recommended the sentence of life without parole that the trial court then imposed, the state cannot have another jury consider the capital sentence it seeks. Therefore, in this context with the defense having dropped its appeal, I believe that the most appropriate course would be to dismiss the state’s cross-appeal now that we have undertaken the full analysis. The majority has concluded that we must address the burden of proof jury instruction question. On that premise, the majority affirms the judgment below, which I also would leave in place. I therefore respectfully concur in the majority’s judgment only.

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