Preston Oates' bond hearing postponed - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Judge postpones bond hearing for Preston Oates

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BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) -

It's been nearly two years since Carlos Olivera was shot and killed on Christmas Eve in Bluffton over an argument with a tow truck driver, Preston Oates, who remains out on bond.

Although Oates' defense attorney waived his presence at the hearing Monday morning, the Olivera family rallied together in the courtroom to show their support.

"This is important to us," said Nelson Olivera, Carlos Olivera's brother. "We're going to be here anytime, any moment."

But before the hearing started, A circuit court judge granted Oates' attorney more time to prepare for the bond hearing because he was tied up in another trial. Solicitor Duffie Stone called the hearing over concerns that Oates potentially violated the conditions of his bond and house arrest.

"It's frustrating to know this man was supposed to be on house arrest at his father's house and only out for legal appointments and emergencies but reports show he has been all around, even in North Carolina," said NelsonOlivera.

The Olivera family wants justice for their loved one and is hoping Oates' bond will be revoked.

"He killed my brother a couple of years ago and he was bragging the next day that he killed a Mexican so if he has the opportunity, he will do it again, it's just a matter of time," said Nelson Olivera. "It's better he is behind bars for his trial."

Stone says this case has been delayed because it's in the appellate process since Oates is arguing he was justified in the shooting under the Castle Doctrine, which allows people to protect themselves against attackers.

"The minute a homicide defendant brings up the Castle Doctrine, it is immediately appealable," said Stone. "Our case is in the Court of Appeals. We have to wait on the appellate process to complete and literally the Supreme Court to give us permission to try this case. It's not only here in Beaufort County, but all over the state."

For now, Oates will be awaiting another bond hearing, which has not been scheduled at this time.

Although the county now uses an electronic monitoring system, Stone says Oates is monitored through a telephonic system using his phone because the county did not have the new system at the time he was put on house arrest. Oates' next bond hearing has not yet been set.

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