COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Judge Marc Serrott ruled that Brian Golsby had waived his expectation of privacy when he signed agreements with the Adult Parole Authority outlining the terms of the requirement that he wear a GPS ankle monitor. Police says Golsby was wearing the GPS device the night he allegedly kidnapped, raped and murdered Ohio State University student Reagan Tokes last February.
Defense attorneys had argued the data from Golsby’s GPS should be kept out of the trial. They said investigators improperly obtained the data through a court order rather than a warrant. Judge Serrott rejected the motion saying that the police affidavit would have been sufficient to obtain a warrant adding that there’s “no evidence the police acted in bad faith.”
Golsby is scheduled to stand trial beginning February 23rd. He is facing multiple charges of rape, kidnapping and murder with death penalty specifications.
Defense attorneys still have another motion pending regarding the reliability of GPS devices and GPS data.
The defense also asked that the trial be put on hold because a state lawmaker has introduced a bill to do away with the death penalty.
Prosecutor Ron O’Brien called the motion frivolous. “I’ve never seen a motion to stay a criminal case because a bill was introduced down the street,” O’Brien said. “Never.”
O’Brien said bills to abolish the death penalty have been introduced in the Ohio legislature several times over the past decade but have gone nowhere.
Judge Marc Serrott said he did not consider the defense motion frivolous but said it would be unfair to hold up Golsby’s trial for a year or more based on what state lawmakers might or might not do. “It’s a long shot in my opinion,” Serrott said. “I’m not going to grant this motion because who knows where it’s going to go.”
Serrott also overruled another defense motion to dismiss the death penalty specifications because of racial bias in the administration of capital cases.
The defense motions cited a study by a University of North Carolina political science professor that suggests the state is guilty of selective prosecution in death penalty cases.
Defense attorney Kort Gatterdam questioned whether Golsby would have been treated differently if the the victim was a black female living in Linden. “Would he had faced the death penalty?” Gatterdam asked.
“I think he would,” replied Judge Serrott.
Gatterdam responded saying, “I think the statistics show otherwise with all due respect and that’s why I think this motion is relevant, it’s important and I don’t think the death penalty is appropriate in this case.”
The judge was unconvinced and overruled the motion.