CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – More witnesses took the stand Wednesday in the murder trial of Othal Wallace, who is accused of fatally shooting a Daytona Beach police officer in June 2021.
Othal Wallace faces the death penalty if convicted of the murder of Officer Jason Raynor, who was shot in June 2021 while investigating a suspicious vehicle.
It was the last full day of testimony from the state. The state said it will have one more witness Thursday, and then the defense will bring its witnesses and are hoping to have their case rested by noon.
The jury could have the case by Friday, hopefully to get a verdict by the end of the day.
A couple of doctors testified about the injuries Raynor suffered after the shooting. He died 55 days after he was brought into the hospital.
The Volusia medical examiner and the doctors said severe bleeding stopped any progress Raynor could have made. They said he suffered a gunshot wound to the head that had complications.
The jury heard from many of the state’s witnesses on Tuesday about what happened right after the shooting and how investigators captured Wallace.
Opening statements were delivered Monday before going into the first witnesses. A jury — comprised of nine women and six men — was seated Friday afternoon.
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Wallace’s trial is happening in Clay County after his defense team argued it would be difficult to find an impartial jury in Volusia County because of how much coverage the case has received.
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 that he died as the result of his injuries. Raynor was laid to rest on Aug. 23 and a tribute that took place across Volusia County.
Wallace was arrested in a multi-state manhunt 56 hours after the shooting.
His defense team is expected to argue that Wallace shot Raynor in self-defense. The state will argue Raynor was acting lawfully when he approached Wallace to question him about a possibly stolen car.
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