State moves ahead with death penalty case against man accused of killing Daytona Beach officer

Othal Wallace accused of fatally shooting Officer Jason Raynor

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The state attorney’s office and Daytona Beach police chief held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to provide updates in the case against Othal Wallace, the man accused of fatally shooting Officer Jason Raynor in June.

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“The homicide was committed in the cold, calculated and premeditated manner,” State Attorney RJ Larizza said.

The 7th District State Attorney’s Office announced two weeks ago it would be seeking the death penalty against Wallace after the death of Officer Jason Raynor, 26, who died 55 days after being shot in the line of duty while investigating a suspicious vehicle.

“Officer Raynor was doing his job in a very non-aggressive manner. He was doing his best to do his job and at the same time show respect to the individual, to the defendant,” Larizza said.

After reviewing the facts, evidence and testimony in the case a grand jury in Volusia County indicted Wallace on first-degree murder allowing the state to move ahead with its intent to seek the death penalty against him.

Larizza said they just got new evidence back about a gun Wallace was found in Georgia with and shell casings found back at the shooting scene in Daytona Beach.

“That nine-millimeter firearm that was found in Georgia in close proximity to the defendant has been tested and the shell casings match,” Larizza said.

Raynor, who had been with the Daytona Beach Police Department for about three years, was rushed to Halifax Health in grave condition after he was shot in the head.

He had remained in critical condition following his surgery until officials said on Aug. 17 he died as the result of his injuries. Raynor was laid to rest on Aug. 23 in a tribute that took place across Volusia County.

Wallace was arrested after a multi-state manhunt 56 hours after the shooting. He previously faced a charge of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer before an arrest warrant with an upgraded murder charge was served.

“It will be years, years before this court case sees a courtroom for trial,” Larizza said.

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.