Preston Oates tries to escape from jail
Preston Oates, the 27-year-old tow truck operator charged in the shooting death of a Bluffton businessman on Christmas Eve, tried to escape from his jail cell at the Beaufort County Detention Center last month.
According to news reports, a prison guard discovered Oates attempting to saw through the window of his cell using the metal faceplate from the cell's light switch.
A subsequent investigation revealed that Oates had managed to cut a 5 inch hole in the window over a 10-day period. Jail authorities said he was never close to escaping but his efforts created about $2000 worth of damage to the cell. Oates is now facing two additional charges including malicious injury to property and attempted escape. According to State laws, Oates could face up to 15 years in prison for the attempted escape.
Following a disciplinary hearing on March 29th, Oates was punished with 60 days in maximum security which means he will be housed in solitary confinement and get only an hour a day for exercise or recreation.