DETROIT -

The preliminary exam for a homeowner accused of fatally shooting an alleged would-be home intruder has been postponed until later in the month.

The attorney for 31-year-old Tigh Croff said he would like more time to come up with material to defend the second-degree murder charge against him.

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Croff was charged after being accused of killing Herbert Silas on Dec. 28.

Police said at 12:30 a.m., Croff began chasing two men he found standing in his back yard on the city's east side.

One of the men ran away, but 53-year-old Silas, of Detroit, turned around and had a verbal exchange with Croff, who then shot him.

Croff told police he had been robbed three times the week of the shooting, and felt he was acting in self-defense.

But a Wayne County assistant prosecutor argued in court Monday against Croff?s self defense claim.

?By the time he was shot, this man had his hands up in the air and had surrendered," the assistant prosecutor said. "The defendant, the evidence will show, said, 'You?re going to die today.'"

Croff has since lost his job as a security guard but retained his license to carry a firearm.

He is out on bond, but wearing a court-ordered tether.

?His parents are here. He has a substantial family. He?s 31 years old and never been arrested before this particular case,? Croff?s attorney said in court Monday.

A neighbor who did not want to be identified told Local 4 about hearing a number of gunshots the day of the shooting.

"When I heard the one bullet, it was like behind my house and then when I heard the other three, it was like right here in front of my house," the neighbor said.

The accused's mother, Marilyn Croff, expressed her sympathy to the family of the shooting victim.

"I apologize to the family that this happened to. Me and my family are deeply saddened by all this," Croff said.

But Marilyn Croff said she is struggling to cope with the fact her son is facing murder charges.

"He turned his life around. He has two kids. That's my son and I love my son," she said.

Croff is scheduled to be in court again on Jan. 27.