HILTON HEAD ISLAND -- It is expected to be next month at the earliest before a judge decides whether a tow-truck driver acted in self-defense in the shooting last Christmas Eve of a Bluffton man.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reported that Circuit Judge Markley Dennis will review arguments and evidence from a Thursday hearing before ruling on whether the Castle Doctrine applies in the case. That doctrine gives people the right to protect themselves in their homes, business or vehicles.

Preston R. Oates, 28, is charged with manslaughter and a weapons charge in the shooting death of old Carlos Alberto Olivera, 34.

Oates' attorneys said he was just doing his job enforcing parking rules when he was threatened by Olivera, who had a handgun.