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Florida seeking death penalty against man accused in deadly shooting of Volusia Co. deputy

Othal Wallace was formally indicted on first-degree murder charges on Sept. 1.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Editor's Note: The video above is from a previous story from June 24, 2020.

The Florida State Attorney's Office will seek the death penalty against Othal Wallace, who is accused in the shooting death of a Daytona Beach police officer in June.

At around 9 p.m. on Thursday Officer Jason Raynor, 26, responded to a suspicious incident near Kingston Avenue, police reported. It was during this call that Raynor approached a suspicious vehicle.

Wallace shot Raynor in the head before fleeing from the area, investigators believe. Raynor was rushed to the hospital for surgery and recovery. 

Meanwhile, authorities finally arrested Wallace on the morning of June 26. Daytona Beach police reported Wallace was in a treehouse in DeKalb County, GA when he was arrested.

Police charged Wallace with attempted murder of a police officer. However, less than two months after the shooting, Raynor died from injuries, leading police to upgrade his charge to murder of a police officer.

On Sept. 1, a grand jury returned an indictment of first-degree murder against Wallace, a capital charge. The Attorney's Office announced their intent to seek the death penalty in the case on the same day.

The Notice of Intent listed the following aggravating factors:

  1. The capital felony was committed to disrupt or hinder the lawful exercise of any governmental function or the enforcement of laws.
  2. The capital felony was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.
  3. The capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.
  4. The victim of the capital felony was a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of his or her official duties.
  5. The capital felony as committed by a criminal gang member, as defined in section 874.03 of the Florida Statutes.

Wallace is expected to have a criminal hearing on Oct. 29.