CLAY COUNTY - Day 3 of Othal Wallace’s trial provided new details on the lead-up to the shooting that killed Officer Jason Raynor, and about what Wallace, the accused killer, did immediately after.
The shooting happened at an apartment complex off of Kingston Avenue in Daytona Beach before 9:00 p.m. on June 23rd, 2021.
The trial revealed on Wednesday that cell phone records show Wallace drove from Daytona to southwest Jacksonville, arriving around 10:30. After that, he drove to Gainesville, arriving just before midnight.
The trial revealed that Wallace’s brother, Octavius, was with him in the car at some point. Octavius Wallace’s girlfriend, Latara Bodison, took the stand Wednesday.
"It was late. He called asking me to come get him," she recalled of her boyfriend.
She says she drove the Watson brothers from Gainesville to Georgia at their request.
Bodison says she didn’t know about Officer Raynor’s murder at the time. Assistant State Attorney Andrew Urbanak asked her to describe Othal Wallace’s demeanor as he sat in the backseat of the car, with Bodison’s boyfriend (Wallace’s brother) in the front passenger seat.
"To me, it was normal, because I don’t know him like that," Bodison said about how Wallace seemed.
Bodison explained Wallace didn’t seem upset and wasn’t crying or hysterical.
Cell records show Bodison and the Watson brothers got to Snellville, Georgia around 6 in the morning, and then Bodison and Octavius Wallace drove straight back to Gainesville.
DNA experts testified to finding Wallace’s DNA on the gun that was used in the shooting, and Raynor’s DNA on a hat recovered on the scene.
A Volusia County Medical Examiner gave a lengthy and thorough detailing of Officer Raynor’s injuries, explaining that he had several major bleeding episodes and eventually suffered both liver and renal failure as a result of the damage done to his brain.
"Is there any doubt in your mind that Officer Raynor died from the gunshot wound inflicted on him by the defendant?" one of the prosecuting attorneys asked Medical Examiner Dr. Mary Ripple.
"Absolutely not," she answered.
The Defense has been arguing that Wallace shot Officer Raynor in self-defense.
But the Prosecution brought a detective to the stand who’d gone through Wallace’s social media.
Detective Matthew Smith with the Daytona Beach Police Department’s Cyber Crimes Unit read aloud Instagram posts he says Wallace made days before Officer Raynor’s murder.
"These crackas are not far from seeing the blood of their own," one of Wallace’s posts said.
"One day, I will take great pride and honor in getting me some pig’s blood on my hands and boot," he said in another.
The prosecution says it has one more witness to bring to the stand Thursday morning. After that, the Defense says it may bring one or more people to the stand. They expect that to wrap up around noon, and will deliver closing arguments Thursday afternoon.
The jury will deliberate Friday, deciding whether Othal Wallace is guilty of murdering Officer Jason Raynor, and if he should be sentenced to the death penalty or life in prison as a result.