The suspect accused of fatally shooting Daytona Beach police Officer Jason Raynor was indicted by a Volusia County grand jury Wednesday on a charge of first-degree murder.
Othal Wallace (29), is accused of shooting Raynor in his head during a traffic stop on June 23. Raynor, 55 days after the attack, was admitted to hospital and later died last month.
The state can now proceed with its intent to seek death penalty against Wallace thanks to the grand jury decision.
Last month, Seventh Circuit State Attorney R.J. Larizza said he planned to charge Wallace with first-degree murder after Raynor died from his wounds, but Florida law states a grand jury must issue that charge, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
Larizza stated in a press release that "We will continue with our solemn task to hold Officer Jason Raynor’s murderer accountable." "Justice is accountability, and justice requires the death penalty."
Investigators claim Raynor, 26 years old, was shot as he checked for suspicious activity close to an apartment complex in Daytona Beach.
Body camera footage released by authorities shows Raynor approach Wallace, who was sitting in his car at the time. Raynor tells Wallace to get in his car and asks him where he lives. Wallace then continues towards Raynor, asking "What's the matter?"
Raynor can be heard shouting "Stop!" later as the suspect fights Raynor. Stop, man! Then came the sound of a gunshot.
Wallace fled the region and there was a huge manhunt. He was eventually tracked down days later in a treehouse near Atlanta and was arrested, FOX 35 Orlando reported.
"There was no waiver at any time. Larizza said that the decision was easy. "You have all seen the video. Officer Raynor was very calm and did his job without being aggressive. He did his best to perform his duties and show respect for the defendant.
According to FOX 35, Larizza said that officials were able match the shell casings of the shooting with a gun located with Wallace in Georgia.
Larizza stated that the 9mm gun found in Georgia near the defendant was tested and that the shell casings were compatible.
According to the station, he also mentioned that Wallace's apparent connections to Black Nationalist groups as well as other "gangs", helped him decide to pursue the death penalty.
Larizza stated that all of those people were affiliated with the gang and they are part of our analysis when we work with the aggravator about the gang activity.