CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Jurors did not reach a verdict Friday in the murder trial of a man accused of fatally shooting a Daytona Beach officer in 2021.
The jurors deliberated until 10 p.m. Friday and will return to the Clay County courthouse Saturday morning at 8:30 to continue deliberations.
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.
During the deliberations, the jury had several questions, including questions regarding legal detainment, concealed carry, and whether it is lawful for an officer to physically restrain a citizen as a form of detainment.
Closing arguments wrapped Thursday after another day of testimony, including Wallace who took the stand and was the defense’s only witness.
Prosecutors said on June 23, 2021, Raynor was acting lawfully when trying to question Wallace. The defense argued that interaction ended with Wallace shooting Raynor in self-defense.
The jury — comprised of nine women and six men — will receive instructions for deliberations on Friday morning.
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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.
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