Judge denies Oates' request for immunity from prosecution again

Published: Mar. 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 10, 2012 at 4:21 PM EDT
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JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - Although Oates was not present, his lawyer, Jarred Newman asked Circuit Court Judge Markley Dennis to reconsider his previous ruling and dismiss the charges against Oates.

It all stems back to Christmas Eve of 2010, when authorities say Oates shot and killed Carlos Olivera after the two had argued over a boot Oates placed on Olivera's minivan parked in the Edgefield Neighborhood.

Newman argued Oates was justified in shooting Olivera under the Castle Doctrine, which allows people to protect themselves against attackers and grants them immunity from prosecution.

"Our analysis is since it was an on-going robbery, Mr. Oates under the laws of self defense would be able to take the first opportunity to remove the threat and we believe that's what Mr. Oates did," said Newman.

But Solicitor Duffie Stone argues that at the time of the shooting, Olivera was not attacking Oates.

"This argument, although escalated, had already ended and Carlos Olivera was shot," said Stone. "He was shot six times, five times in the back, one time in the side. That showed the court and showed us that this was not a straight on shot. It was not something in the heat of any argument."

After listening to the arguments, Judge Dennis stuck with his original ruling, denying Oates immunity from prosecution.

"Number one, he's clearly walking away. Number two, from what I could interpret from the witnesses version that I thought were more prevalent, this just doesn't make sense," said Judge Dennis. "I could understand if they were enraged and throwing their pistols around but the testimony is he basically had put the pistol away in his waist band, clearly the argument ended."

Oates' defense is planning on appealing the decision to the South Carolina Court of Appeals within the next 10 days.

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