Tokes family files wrongful death suit claiming agencies failed to properly monitor Brian Golsby

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — More than a  than a year after her life was cut short, tonight the parents of Reagan Tokes have filed a wrongful death lawsuit. 

While her killer spends the rest of his life behind bars, family of the Ohio State University student is suing the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, along with the company that provides housing to people released from prison. 

NBC 4 Investigator Tom Sussi went through the 14-page lawsuit, and spoke with the Cincinnati lawyer who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the family. Robert Newman says had ODRC and NISRE, Inc., the parent company of the EXIT program, done their jobs, Reagan Tokes would be alive today.

Newman told Sussi, “Had the monitoring gone on the way it should have gone one he (Brian Golsby) would have been violated and arrested, and this murder would not have happened.”

Last January and February, Golsby kidnapped, raped and murdered Tokes. He also beat and robbed seven other people, all while wearing a GPS ankle monitor. 

“They didn’t read the readings on the GPS tracking device so they didn’t know he was violating curfew over and over again,” said Newman.

Golsby was equipped with the ankle monitor November of 2016, after serving six years in prison for robbery and attempted rape. “They were blindfolded with respect to their responsibilities to watch out for somebody who just got out of prison and who was regarded as a very dangerous person,” said Newman.

An ODRC spokesperson says they can’t comment on “pending litigation.”

A spokesperson with the EXIT program emailed Sussi a statement. In part it reads, “We are not contractually obligated to provide monitoring, and his (Brian Golsby) ankle monitor was administered by an outside third party. We will work with our attorneys to continue to address the matter in court and will not be discussing in further in public.”

Matt Dole, spokesperson for the EXIT program, released a statement to NBC4:

The leaders of the EXIT Program continue to mourn the loss of Reagan Tokes, especially given that the program’s first and foremost goal is making our community safer.

We’ve openly shared the situation that led to this tragedy, as we understand it. Brian Goltsby lived in one of our properties. The EXIT Program provides housing and is not a half-way house. He had a curfew, which is an EXIT Program rule over and above state requirements. The only reason to be out past curfew was for a job, which he had. The EXIT Program is not contractually obligated to provide monitoring, and his ankle monitor was administered by an outside third party. The crime took place far from our property.

Giving the new reality of this lawsuit, and out of respect for the Tokes family, we will work with our attorneys to continue to address the matter in court and will not be discussing it further in public.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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