DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The attorneys for a man accused of shooting and killing a Daytona Beach police officer in June 2021 filed motions for a change of venue and to strike portions of the indictment, court records show.
According to court documents, Wallace’s attorneys filed a motion for a change of venue due to the fact “the publicity in Daytona Beach and surrounding counties in Central Florida was and continues to be overwhelming, constant and pervasive; and its content has been uniformly negative about Othal Wallace.”
Court records show his legal team wants the case moved to Alachua County, citing a higher concentration of African American people living there and lower mean income.
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Additionally, Wallace’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss or strike portions of the indictment specifying that Raynor was in “lawful execution of a law enforcement duty at the time,” adding he “unlawfully detained Mr. Wallace.”
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.
“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 the hospital in grave condition after he was shot in the head and had remained in critical condition until officials said on Aug. 17 he died as the result of his injuries.
He 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.
“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 also released the following statement one year after his death:
We have mourned what has been the most tragic loss of our lives. Every second of every day feels like groundhogs day. With each day that passes, our feelings remain the same. Our brother, and son, was taken from us by someone who had motive from the start. Violence and hate was the motivator. In 29 seconds, someone made a decision that put Jason to endure 55 days of pain and suffering until he was called home. We promise that Jason’s name will never be forgotten and we will continue to fight for him. Thank you to the community for your continued strength, prayers and love towards our family. We feel that regardless of the trial, one ultimately has to face their creator, who knows the truth.
Wallace was arrested following 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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