Trial pushed back for man accused of killing Daytona Beach police officer

Othal Wallace faces death penalty

Daytona Beach police honor fallen officer Jason Raynor

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The trial date for the man accused of shooting and killing a Daytona Beach police officer in June 2021 has been pushed back.

Othal Wallace was charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Officer Jason Raynor, 26, who was shot in the head and died 55 days later in August 2021 from his injuries. Wallace’s trial was previously scheduled for April 3, but it has been rescheduled for July 31.

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The 7th District State Attorney’s Office announced it would be seeking the death penalty against Wallace after the death of Raynor, who was shot in the line of duty while investigating a suspicious vehicle. Police said Raynor stopped responding, prompting other officers to respond to the area.

“The homicide was committed in the cold, calculated and premeditated manner,” State Attorney RJ Larizza said during a September 2021 news conference.

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 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.

The Daytona Beach Police Department marked one year since Raynor’s death with a public vigil.

The Daytona Beach Police Department held a public vigil Wednesday night, marking one year since one of its officers died after being shot in the line of duty.

“One year ago, we mourned,” Daytona Beach police Chief Jakari Young said during the vigil. “Today, we remember. One year ago, we were broken. Tonight, we are stronger.”

Raynor’s family released the following statement one year after his death:

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.

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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.