Investigators, defendant’s father testify in trial of man accused of killing Daytona Beach officer

Othal Wallace faces death penalty if convicted

Othal Wallace trial (Copyright 2023 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Daytona Beach detectives say they got their first look at Othal Wallace from officer Jason Raynor’s body camera right after the shooting. According to News 6 in Orlando, the investigator on the stand called it the most important piece of evidence.

In June 2021, Raynor was searching for a stolen car, and found Wallace in one that looked similar. The body camera video shows Raynor try to question Wallace, then police say that’s when Wallace shot him and took off.

Raynor was shot in the head and remained in critical condition following surgery. He died on August 17, 2021.

Investigators testifying said Wallace posted a video on his Instagram shortly after the shooting, telling his followers to keep fighting. He referred to officers as pigs and used the term ‘Black Power.’

Wallace’s father took the stand on Tuesday. He said he lives in Gainesville and Wallace called him asking to borrow a car. When asked if his son mentioned anything about a police officer getting shot, he replied, “He did. He said cop shot, I’ve got to get away.”

Wallace’s father also said after the call, he then heard about what happened in Daytona Beach and turned his phone off so Wallace couldn’t contact him again.

Prosecutors say Wallace ditched his car and got a ride to a property in Georgia, where he was hiding in a treehouse with multiple guns. When he was caught 56 hours after the shooting, police in Georgia said he tried to change his appearance by cutting off his dreads.

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.

About the Authors:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.