Man accused of shooting Daytona Beach officer in head pleads not guilty

Othal Wallace accused of firing at Officer Jason Raynor faces attempted murder charge

Othal Wallace (Image: Volusia County Sheriff's Office) (2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The man accused of shooting a Daytona Beach police officer in the head entered a not-guilty plea, according to court documents submitted Friday.

Othal Wallace, 29, was officially charged with attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer Thursday. He is accused of shooting Daytona Beach Police Officer Jason Raynor, 26, on June 23 and was arrested following a 56-hour manhunt that led authorities to a treehouse hideout in Georgia.

[TRENDING: 1 dead in crash with ambulance | DeSantis parts with Trump | Arrest in country club triple slaying]

According to court documents from the 7th District State Attorney’s Office, Wallace is continuing to be represented by a public defender. When he appeared in front of a judge last Friday, Wallace said he wanted to be represented by the public defender’s officer “until my attorney takes over the case.”

Multiple agencies searched for Wallace after the shooting, including the FBI. The Daytona Beach Police Department said Raynor was investigating a suspicious vehicle when he stopped responding, prompting other officers to respond to the area.

Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young said during a previous update on the officer’s condition that he was showing “positive signs” of improvement. Young said during a news briefing that he “still has a ways to go,” but doctors are comfortable moving forward with more testing now that he is “strong enough.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Waltz — who represents Florida’s 6th congressional district, apologized Friday for relaying information about the potential condition of Raynor, prompting a harsh rebuke from Young, who would not confirm nor deny any information about Raynor’s condition.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.