State News

Grand jury indicts Soles in shooting

Posted January 7, 2010

— A Columbus County grand jury on Thursday indicted state Sen. R.C. Soles in connection with an August shooting at his Tabor City home.

Soles, D-Columbus, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Authorities have said Soles shot Thomas Kyle Blackburn after two intruders kicked in the front door of the lawmaker's home. Blackburn wasn't badly hurt in the incident.

Soles' attorney, Joe Cheshire, said in a statement Thursday that his client fired in self-defense, adding that he was disappointed with the indictment.

"We will continue to work with the Attorney General’s Office to resolve this unfortunate matter, consistent with the truth," Cheshire said.

The state Attorney General's Office assumed control of the case in September after local prosecutors said their close ties to Soles would preclude them from handling the investigation.

A grand jury last month found probable cause that Soles acted criminally when he shot Blackburn.

A different grand jury returned the indictment Thursday. If he is convicted, he could face 15 to 31 months in prison.

Soles, 75, is the state's longest-serving lawmaker, having been in the General Assembly for 42 years. He said last week that he won't seek re-election in November.

Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight said he doesn't plan to ask Soles to step down earlier, saying his longtime colleague hasn't had his day in court.

"I don’t know much about the details of this case, except that our system of justice will run its course," Basnight, D-Dare, said in a statement.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • WRAL is joe_dirt Jan 8, 2010

    The REAL truth would probably be more like a sore looser in a game of Twister between Soles and his "intruders."

  • dbcooper41 Jan 8, 2010

    at least he didn't shoot him in the face, this time.

  • mrduright Jan 8, 2010

    "Dead men tell no tales"

  • Oxfordgirl Jan 8, 2010

    If someone kicks in my door you best believe he will not be walking or running back out he can lay right there by the door until someone arrives with his body bag. If what the story says is true the senator did the right thing, he was protectiong himself.

  • kjwecurn Jan 7, 2010

    "Another Good 'Ol Boy that thinks he is above the law...."

    Well then I guess I am a good OL girl because if some one kicks my door in you better believe that the next thing they ever have contact with will be 45 long colt and then the floor!!!

  • What if_I could Jan 7, 2010

    This sounds like a blackmail scheme gone back on the two boys. Souls was tired of their mess and figured he was going to show them they were not in controll.

  • SailbadTheSinner Jan 7, 2010

    “Authorities have said Soles shot Thomas Kyle Blackburn after two intruders kicked in the front door of the lawmaker's home. Blackburn wasn't badly hurt in the incident.”

    Here’s a guarantee: Kick in my door and I’ll wager you donut to a pound of pig dung that you’re probably not going to live long enough to regret the mistake.


  • alx Jan 7, 2010

    OK he purchased it for allen strickland..strange

  • didisaythat Jan 7, 2010


    While most of what you said is true aobut we don't have the facts, what most are saying is what they believe. If an intruder enters your home and you fear for your safety and the safety of your family, WE have the right to protect ourselves. You also said " they kicked in the door and he shot them" or something to that and then said we only know what is in the story and the suspects may not have kicked in the door. Well in the news story it says and everything I have read says they did kick the door in. Now it doesn't say what transpired after the break-in and before the shooting. I will give you that. But we as citizens have the right to protect ourselves and our property.

  • Hip-Shot Jan 7, 2010

    For the charges to be upheld there is more to this story than WRAL has in print. Based upon the information provided here, he was well within his right, although if he invited them in or such then that is a different story.