CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — The man accused of murdering a Daytona Beach police officer told jurors he “had no other option” when he testified on Thursday.
Othal Wallace is accused of shooting and killing officer Jason Raynor in 2021. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty if he is convicted.
Wallace said he was afraid for his life and was confused, shocked and running on adrenaline at the time of the shooting. Wallace was animated in court as he described his version of the events of the night police say he shot Raynor in the head.
“The thing I feared the most was probably about to happen to me right there,” Wallace said.
Wallace said the shooting was in self-defense.
“I just did what I could to try to survive the encounter,” he said.
But prosecutors brought up Wallace’s social media posts, which remained a major argument throughout the course of the trial, where he referred to police as pigs.
While on the witness stand, he said making posts that refer to police officers as pigs was a dumb mistake on his part.
“It was just a reflection about what I was feeling about what was taking place in our country,” he said.
But when the state asked him a similar question about the same post , Wallace said he wasn’t specifically talking about police.
“‘One day I will take great honor in taking pigs’ blood on my hands and boots.’ Who are you referring to? Are you talking about little piglets? Who are you referring to as pigs?” the prosecutor asked.
“People who don’t see me as a human being,” Wallace said.
Closing arguments from both sides are expected to be given by the end of the night on Thursday.
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