Othal Wallace sentenced to 30 years in prison for manslaughter of Daytona Beach officer

Othal Wallace, who shot and killed a Daytona Beach police officer, will spend the next 30 years in prison after a judge handed down a sentence Friday. According to WKMG in Orlando, Wallace was on trial for first-degree murder, but he was convicted in Clay County last month of a lesser charge.

The trial was held in Clay County due to pre-trial publicity and the jury found him guilty of manslaughter, which carried the maximum penalty of 30 years. Prosecutors had sought the death penalty for Wallace.

“We are unbelievably grateful for the jury’s work and consideration and rejection of an offense that would result in the death penalty,” said Tim Pribisco, Wallace’s attorney.

On the evening of June 23, 2021, Officer Raynor was patrolling at an apartment complex off Kingston Avenue in Daytona Beach when he came across Wallace sitting in a Honda SUV. The officer’s body camera video shows the brief 42-second interaction between him and the defendant. Wallace refused to answer Officer Raynor’s questions or listen to his commands. Eventually, the interaction escalated and a gunshot could be heard.

Officer Raynor, who was quickly found by his fellow officers, was shot in the head and sent to the hospital in critical condition. A manhunt then began for Wallace.

Three days later, on June 26, 2021, the defendant was found by Georgia State Police hiding in a treehouse in a remote area east of Atlanta with multiple weapons. He was arrested and extradited back to Volusia County.

Unfortunately, almost two months after he was shot, Officer Raynor died due to complications from the gunshot wound.

“Officer Jason Raynor was doing his job – protecting our community – and he lost his life as a result.” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said about the defendant. “The defendant shot and killed Officer Raynor because he harbored a deep-seated hate for law enforcement – not because he was fearful for his life. There is no sentence that would adequately punish the defendant for his brutal murder but imposing the maximum sentence brings some measure of justice and accountability.”

Wallace’s lawyers filed a motion earlier this month requesting a sentence lower than the minimum and claimed Wallace was doing nothing wrong when Raynor questioned him moments before the shooting.

Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young and Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood reacted following Wallace’s verdict, calling his conviction disappointing.

“This is a slap in the face to not only the Daytona Beach Police Department, it’s a slap in the face to anyone who puts their uniform on and goes to work,” Chitwood said.

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