Murder trial relocated for man accused of killing Daytona Beach police officer

Othal Wallace murder trial set for September in yet-to-be determined location

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A judge on Friday granted a change of venue request for Othal Wallace, who will stand trial in the 2021 shooting death of a Daytona Beach police officer.

Wallace, 31, is accused of shooting Daytona Beach police Officer Jason Raynor in the head on June 23, 2021. Wallace, who was found in Georgia, was arrested on murder charges 56 hours after the shooting. The 26-year-old officer died on Aug. 17.

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The judge said the defense change of venue was allowed because it would be difficult to seat an impartial jury in Volusia County because of pre-trial publicity.

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.

The defense suggested the trial be held in Alachua, Broward or Leon counties. The state argued that the defense wants to cherry-pick a Democrat-leaning county. The state wants the trial to be held in the 7th Circuit, suggesting St. Johns County as an alternative.

The judge said he will decide on the venue at a later date. He also ruled that the trial will start on September 5.

Wallace’s murder trial had been scheduled for July 31, following the tentative scheduling of an April 3 trial date that got pushed back in January.

Raynor, who had been with the police department for about three years, was laid to rest Aug. 23, just days after the state announced it would seek the death penalty in the case against Wallace.

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates.

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About the Authors:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.