Local Politics

Sheriff: Sen. Soles shoots man at home

Posted August 23, 2009 8:53 p.m. EDT
Updated August 24, 2009 11:24 a.m. EDT

— The State Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation after Sen. R.C. Soles was accused of shooting a man at his Tabor City home Sunday afternoon, Columbus County Sheriff Chris Batten said.

Soles, a lawyer, shot Kyle Blackburn, who has been a legal client of the senator, at about 5 p.m. during an altercation at his 118 Canal St. home, Batten said.

Paramedics transported Blackburn to Loris Community Hospital in Loris, S.C., Batten said. He was listed in fair condition late Sunday.

Blackburn came to Soles’ home with B.J. Wright, another former or current client of the senator, Batten said. Wright, who was recently released from prison, was not injured.

The Associated Press reported that Blackburn and Wright tried to kick in the front door of Soles' house.

Officers with the Tabor City Police Department first responded to the shooting. The department later asked the SBI to take over the investigation.

So far, no charges have been filed, Batten said.

Soles, 74, a Democrat who represents Columbus, Brunswick and Pender counties, has spent 40 years in the General Assembly, the past 32 years in the Senate.

Soles was subject of recent SBI investigation

Last week, a man who claimed in a televised interview that Soles tried to fondle him more than a decade ago recanted his allegations.

Stacey Scott's allegation led to a separate SBI investigation.

Scott said he made up the allegation in an August 2008 television interview. He said then that Soles tried to grab his genitals when Scott was 15 years old.

Scott, 27, said he had taken drugs on the day he was interviewed. He said his mother urged him to make the allegation, but he doesn't remember why.

Soles said he knew Scott's claims of molestation were false and was glad Scott acknowledged he made up the story.

Soles has raised questions in the Tabor City area for providing young men with cash to buy cars and homes. He said he gives money to countless people in need, not just troubled young men.