Local Politics

Shooting victim says lawmaker buys people's silence

Posted April 27, 2010

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— A man who was shot last summer by Sen. R.C. Soles said Tuesday that the Democratic lawmaker has paid him more than $100,000 over the last seven years.

In an interview with WRAL News, Kyle Blackburn, 23, discussed the shooting at Soles' home and his relationship with Soles, a Tabor City lawyer who has served in the General Assembly for 40 years.

Soles' law office referred all questions to his Raleigh attorney, Joe Cheshire.

State senator speaks about allegations Attorney: Man trying to damage Soles' reputation

"They are conducting a media campaign that contradicts Mr. Blackburn's conduct in the criminal investigation and appears designed to harm Sen. Soles," Cheshire said in a statement. "It wasn't right on Aug. 23, 2009, and it is not right today."

Blackburn, a former legal client of Soles who has been convicted of felony breaking and entering, said Soles has for years given him and other men cash.

"He doesn't help anybody and everybody. He helps people who know something about him, something he doesn't want told. He'll give them whatever they ask for to keep them quiet," Blackburn said.

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into allegations that Soles fondled a 27-year-old Columbus County man more than a decade ago. After making the claim in a television interview, the man recanted.

Blackburn said he was never molested, but he said Soles has assaulted him in the past.

"He kicked me right upside the head with some little, pointy elf shoes," he said.

Last Aug. 23, Blackburn said he, his girlfriend and buddy B.J. Wright went to Soles house because Wright needed some money. He said nobody answered the door, so they hung out on a pier at the lake behind Soles' house until Blackburn's girlfriend spotted Soles peering out of a window.

"B.J. came knocking on the door, hooping and hollering. He still wouldn't come to the door," Blackburn said, noting that Wright then drove his SUV around in Soles' front yard.

"Here comes B.J. and just karate kicks the door. I said, 'OK, Lord don't do that. Mr. Soles is going to kill both of us,'" Blackburn said.

Soles finally opened the door and fired a shot, Blackburn said. As he ran away, he was shot in the back of his leg.

"I froze up, and I couldn't move," he said. "He's steady, holding the gun on me, shaking."

Soles, 75, has always maintained he was protecting himself and his property in the shooting. A Columbus County grand jury indicted him in January on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, but he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in the case and paid a $1,000 fine.

Cheshire noted in his statement that Blackburn and Wright agreed to the plea deal because they didn't want Soles prosecuted.

Still, Blackburn said he was speaking out to set the record straight about the incident.

"R.C. said I was kicking his door. I never kicked his door," he said.

Since the shooting, Blackburn said, he hasn't spoken to Soles. He said he considers their relationship over, and he plans to sue the lawmaker over the shooting.

43 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • lxndershw Apr 29, 2010

    JUD571983,
    YOU MAKE SOME GREAT POINTS. IF I WAS CHARGED WITH A CRIME AND I WAS THE VICTIM, I WOULD FIGHT TOOTH AND NAIL TO CLEAR MY NAME. SOLES DIDN’T DO THAT. THERE’S GOT TO BE SOME REASON HE WAS SO QUICK TO PLEAD GUILTY. SOME PIECE OF EVIDENCE NOT MADE PUBLIC. THERE MUST BE SOMETHING HE DOESN’T WANT EXPOSED. I THINK THIS WHOLE CROWD IS DESPICABLE BUT TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN FICTION. BLACKBURN IS DEFINITELY NOT A SYMPATHETIC VICTIM, BUT HE MIGHT BE A REMORSEFUL WHISTLEBLOWER. AFTER ALL, GETTING SHOT WOULD PROBABLY CHANGE YOUR WHOLE PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE.

  • jud571983 Apr 29, 2010

    If Soles was protecting his property, why was he the only one indicted by a grand jury? Why weren't Wright and Blackburn charged with crimes? Why didn't the Senator call the Police when they were attempting to break into his house? Why did Soles let him in his gated driveway? Something doesn't add up. The police and prosecutors obviously know more. But more importantly, why would you plead guilty to a crime you didn't commit? Why would one of the best lawyers in the State of North Carolina advise you to plead guilty, especially if you were the victim? Soles’ lawyer fought hard for his clients in the Duke Lacrosse case, so why wouldn't he fight just as hard for the Senator? Could it be because Blackburn is telling the truth?

  • delilahk2000 Apr 28, 2010

    WAY TO GO WRAL, GIVING A CRIMINAL FREE AIR TIME TO TELL HIS LIES. IT SEEMS TO ME THESE DAYS THAT THE CRIMINALS GET A LOT OF AIR TIME AND MAKING CRIME SEEM FUNNY. OH I CAN GET MY 15MIN. OF FAME. IF HE DID KICK IN THE MANS DOOR TO BAD MR SOLES AIM WAS NOT BETTER. THIS CRIMINAL DESERVES NOTHING.

  • wildcat Apr 28, 2010

    Its the good old boys-

  • xandevalinour Apr 28, 2010

    to set the record straight, blackmail isnt paying someone to stay quiet, unless the person being quiet demands the payment.

    Its not blackmail if someone goes up to you hands you money, and says you saw or heard nothing...thats called bribery

    you will never know the truth of what was done, both sides are crooks and liars

  • webberx101 Apr 28, 2010

    Lindsey Graham is allegedly gay too - who really cares?!?!

  • CowboysFan Apr 28, 2010

    I'm sorry, but if my door was kicked in by some one, friend or not, I know them or not, I hold the right to protect myself!

  • jud571983 Apr 28, 2010

    Blackmail is a crime, but why didn't he report it. He's had opportunity after opportunity. I think he actually enjoys the excitement. Maybe he and The Easleys can get adjoining cells. After all, they have the same attorney.

  • dwntwnboy Apr 28, 2010

    "Shooting victim says lawmaker buys people's silence"- guess he didn't pay enough...this guy's talking LOL

  • pebbles262004 Apr 28, 2010

    Isn't it against the law to blackmail a person?

More...