Man accused of killing out on bond, victim's family outraged - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Man accused of killing out on bond, victim's family outraged


The family of Carlos Olivera says it's unfair that they will never see their loved one again and the man accused of fatally shooting him is out on bond.

"Preston Oates is smiling and laughing while Carlos Olivera's four kids are still crying," said Nelson Olivera, the victim's brother.

As a way of protesting Oates' release, Olivera has written several messages on his red SUV, including some that read "Preston Oates is smiling, but Carlos Olivera's four kids are still crying" and "Can you kill and walk free in Beaufort County?"

Nelson exclaims, "What happened with the law? What happened with the system in Beaufort County, South Carolina? We don't understand that."

Oates, who's facing voluntary manslaughter and firearms charges, is now free on a $200,000 property bond. He's accused of gunning down the 34-year-old Carlos Olivera on Christmas Eve following a parking dispute. Oates, an owner of Pro Tow, reportedly placed a "boot" on Olivera's minivan, which was parked in the street outside his brother's Live Oak Walk home in the Edgefield community, violating the community's rules. The two got into an argument, leading to Oates fatally shooting Olivera six times. Oates says he shot out of self defense after Olivera reportedly showed the tow truck driver his gun.

"Right now he needs to be in jail. He needs to be where he belongs. He's a danger for this society. This is a guy who has a violent past," said Nelson.

In December 2007, Preston Oates was charged with assault and battery after a dispute with another Bluffton man whose vehicle he was towing. In July 2008, the Pro Tow owner was accused of shooting at three men at a Hilton Head Island mobile home park while attempting to repossess a car. And in November 2008, Oates was stabbed in the abdomen during a dispute in another mobile home park on the island. More recently the 27-year-old tow truck driver was indicted on escape charges for trying to break free of jail in March.

Nelson Olivera says he will not stop until justice is finally served for his brother.

WTOC tried contacting Pro Tow for comment, but were told the company is no longer operating. Pro Tow's phone number has been transferred to American Towing and Recovery. WTOC was also unable to get comment from Preston Oates' family.

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