COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) — A bill that would improve real-time GPS monitoring of convicted felons on post-release control had its first hearing Wednesday at the Ohio Statehouse.
The hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee was set Wednesday morning, at 9:15 a.m. Senate Bill 133 was inspired by the murder of Ohio State student Reagan Tokes, and it's aimed at preventing a similar tragedy from happening again.
Tokes was kidnapped and murdered in February 2017 after leaving work in the Short North. The man convicted of killing her, Brian Golsby, was recently released from prison and was wearing a GPS monitor, but no one was tracking his movements until after he robbed six people and killed Tokes.
“What happened to our daughter and family is the most horrific extreme of circumstances," said Lisa McCreary Tokes, Reagan's mother. "We don’t want that to be the case for another family. It’s shocking that for all the safety parameters that are out there, something as important as this is not being done in real time.”
Tokes' family has worked with lawmakers on the new legislation. They also worked with lawmakers in 2018 on the first Tokes Act that was signed into law during the final days of Governor John Kasich's administration. That bill enabled judges to length prison sentences for inmates who cause problems while they're in prison.
The latest legislation would also shrink the workload for parole officers. Supporters have said parole officers have been put in charge of so many cases that they can't keep up with all of them. Tokes said she is hopeful the new DeWine administration and new set of lawmakers in the General Assembly will be able to work quickly and pass the second Tokes Act by this summer.
“We never want anybody to experience what our daughter did or our family has but at the same time it’s also very hard because we’re constantly bringing this all up again," Tokes said.
ABC 6/FOX 28 will continue to follow the latest on this bill.