Prosecutor: Accused murderer tried to disable ankle monitor

Brian Golsby was arraigned on multiple charges Monday afternoon and faces the death penalty (WSYX/WTTE)

The man accused of six attacks in German Village, and the abduction, rape and murder of Ohio State University senior Reagan Tokes was wearing an ankle bracelet and supposed to be monitored.

Brian Golsby was on parole for violent crimes and supposed to be living at a state-approved community house at the time of the crimes.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien said Golsby tried to disable his ankle monitor. He said every 60 seconds a GPS signal is sent to track violent offenders in the community. The electronic monitoring is overseen by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

The state would not answer questions about Golsby and how his ankle monitor put him near the scenes of the crimes.

“They’re always subject to checking and that’s an easy thing to do on a computer,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien said there is evidence Golsby may have tampered or tried to disable his GPS monitor. He explained that watching offenders in real-time or minute by minute does not happen.

“I just don’t think the DRC has the resources to do that,” O’Brien said.

State law says the Adult Parole Authority can contract with halfway houses for monitoring. Golsby was assigned to the EXIT program, a Community Residential Center, which is on Oakwood Avenue, not far from German Village.

The EXIT program refused an interview but did say in an email, “The EXIT program is not a halfway house, nor do we provide electronic monitoring services. Those services are outside the scope of our work and are handled independently by other service providers contracted through ODRC.”

According to state paperwork outlining the community residential centers, residence is voluntary and if the offender walks away, he or she is subject to a sanction for failing to notify the supervising officer of a change of address. Additionally, a referral is not a sanction or treatment alternative.

“We don’t know how thorough this is being run,” neighbor Jim Sharick said. “Are there inspections? How stringent is it?”

Neighbors have had concerns for weeks. While interview requests were turned down, ABC 6 On Your Side Investigates did obtain the state electronic monitoring policy. It shifts much of the responsibility to halfway houses.

The state electronic monitoring policy states that halfway houses shall:

  • Maintain 24/7 monitoring of offenders.
  • Staff the monitoring facility.
  • Keep accurate records.
  • Monthly progress reports.
  • Daily activity summary of the ankle bracelet.

Late Monday evening, ABC 6 On Your Side Investigates learned the EXIT Program is not considered a halfway house so it isn’t responsible for monitoring.

“The EXIT program is a 90 day housing program for homeless offenders referred by ODRC that do not have a place to live,” a statement read. “Residents who live there are on probation or parole and supervised by the Adult Parole Authority.”

There is no evidence proving the Adult Parole Authority or ODRC took a hard look at where Golsby was going. A state spokesperson explained there are eight different agencies contracted to oversee roughly 130 units every day.

“If they violate it there are steps taken to impose sanctions or steps to take to prevent it from happening again,” O’Brien said.

Halfway houses are licensed and contracted by the state. They are subject to routine program audits. ABC 6 On Your Side Investigates has requested the reports and paperwork surrounding Golsby’s parole and potential ankle monitor violations.

(NOTE: The written story above has been updated with a response by the EXIT Program and a clarification that it's considered a community residential center and not a halfway house.)

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