CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — After a week of emotional testimony, jurors have found Othal Wallace guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter.
A manslaughter charge could give Wallace up to 30 years behind bars rather than life without parole or the death penalty, which he was originally facing if convicted of first-degree murder.
After the verdict was announced, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood shared his thoughts on social media. He said, in part:
“The message I take away from this jury is that it’s open season on law enforcement. A lesser charge of manslaughter for the murder of Daytona Beach Police Officer Jason Raynor is a slap in the face of everyone who puts on a uniform.”
Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young also shared his disappointment in the verdict. He said in part:
“The verdict comes with a deep sense of disappointment and frustration for me and the dedicated men and women of the Daytona Beach Police Department.” “Although we accept the fact that the unthinkable could occur, we expect that those responsible would be held accountable and that justice would be served. Today’s verdict contradicts that expectation.”
There will be a pre-sentence investigation for Wallace, and sentencing should happen within 60 days in Volusia County.
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