CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Jurors have been selected in the trial of a man accused of shooting and killing a Daytona Beach police officer in 2021.
Jury selection began Tuesday and wrapped up Friday for Othal Wallace’s trial. He is facing the death penalty if convicted of the murder of Officer Jason Raynor, who was shot in June 2021 while investigating a suspicious vehicle, according to News4JAX sister station WKMG in Orlando.
The pool started with 69 people before days of questioning whittled it down to nine women and six men. The judge gave instructions to the jurors on Friday, with opening statements set to begin Monday.
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 this 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 in a tribute that took place across Volusia County.
Daytona Beach police honor fallen officer Jason Raynor
Wallace was arrested after a multi-state manhunt 56 hours after the shooting.
His defense team will argue Wallace shot Raynor in self-defense and the state will argue it was not and Raynor was acting lawfully when he approached Wallace to question him about a possibly stolen car.