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Tow truck driver arrested; victim shot 6 times

Dec 28, 2010 8:11:00 AM - thestate.com
The tow-truck operator who shot a Bluffton man six times Christmas Eve after the men argued about a boot on minivan was arrested and charged with manslaughter Monday afternoon, according to Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner.

Preston Ryan Oates, 27, of Bluffton and co-owner of Pro Tow, was arrested at about 5 p.m. on charges of manslaughter and felony possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, according to a press release from the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. Oates was taken into custody at a Sheriff's Office substation after an interview with investigators.

The charges are in connection with the death of Carlos Alberto Olivera, 34, over a dispute Friday that began just before 8:30 p.m., when Oates put a boot on Olivera's minivan, according to the release.

Both men were armed with .40-caliber Glock handguns, but Olivera's handgun was not discharged during the incident, Tanner said.

Oates -- who told investigators Friday he acted in self-defense -- was questioned by deputies and released later that evening.