NC Senator Pleads Guilty To Misdemeanor Charge

North Carolina's longest-serving lawmaker won't serve jail time for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge a month after being indicted on a felony for shooting his former client at the legislator's home.

A judge in Columbus County accepted on Thursday the guilty plea of Sen. R.C. Soles, D-Columbus, who was first elected to the General Assembly in 1968, making him the state's longest continuously serving lawmaker. The state constitution would have disqualified Soles from public office had he been convicted of a felony.

Judge D. Jack Hooks fined Soles $1,000.

Authorities said Soles shot 22-year-old Thomas Kyle Blackburn after two intruders kicked in the front door of the lawmaker's secluded Tabor City home last August. Blackburn wasn't badly hurt.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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North Carolina's longest-serving legislator is in court to face charges that he shot a former client who was kicking his front door.

State Sen. R.C. Soles is due in Superior Court in Whiteville on Thursday as he stands accused of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

The Columbus County Democrat admitted to shooting 22-year-old Kyle Blackburn in the leg at the senator's Tabor City home last August. The 75-year-old Soles said he was acting in self-defense after Blackburn and 23-year-old Billie Wright kicked at the door.

Blackburn wasn't badly hurt. He and Wright have since been arrested on unrelated drug charges.

Soles has been a legislator for 41 years. He said he won't seek re-election in November.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by OpenCarry-NC Location: Washington on Mar 9, 2010 at 12:51 PM
    I don't know which is more disgusting about this case. 1) the fact that he shot the victim in the back as he was leaving, and ONLY got charged with misdemeanor assault, or 2) the fact that the good Senator is one of the most vocal anti-Second Amendment Rights legislator in NC, and therefore a brazen hypocrite. If this would have been an average citizen, they would have been locked away for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, GAttTotP, and Attempted Murder. But because he's one of the "anointed elite", dear Senator Soles pretty much gets a pass by the DA and the Court System. So much for "equal protection under the law". Our legal system in NC is becoming a national embarrassment...
  • by Mary Location: NC on Feb 25, 2010 at 06:54 PM
    I just got my N.C.Carry and Conceal Permit. Wolfgang - Is right learn our N.C. State laws on the use of Deadly Force with the use of a Firearm ,or you might and up like lawmaker with criminal charges against you. N.C. Deadly Force laws can be " Very Complicated on the book ". Learn the law N.C.on the use of deadly force , before you pull the trigger. So you do not end up like lawmaker
  • by Rocket Scientist Location: BOCO on Feb 25, 2010 at 04:58 PM
    Apparently most of you missed the post by Anonymous at 9:49 AM. The man has never been married and has had several secretive male relationships. This attack was very much connected to a past relationship that had gone bad. Furthermore, he was not defending his life which is legal. He just wanted this young man to leave Don't get so enraged when you only hear about two lines of what occurred.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 25, 2010 at 04:55 PM
    Guess that law enforcement would be happier if we did nothing and all they have to do is pick up our bodies after the thugs are finished with us.
  • by jerry Location: kinston on Feb 25, 2010 at 04:14 PM
    I have a 12ga shotgun loaded sitting on my side of the bed and I have a loaded 380 pistol on my wifes side. and believe me if I hear someone in my house at night especially I am not going to go up to him and shake his hand and say come on in. as a senior citizen my trust of people isnt the best in the world if you get my drift. that lawmaker should NEVER have been charged
  • by Data Man on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:36 PM
    I dont care what anyone says! If these thugs break in a home, they need to be shot!! Laws are so stupid. He would have never shot the dummy if he didnt break in the man's home! I can't beleive this!!
  • by Darren Location: Kill Devil Hills on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:24 PM
    I guess that if it was me and my family that it happens to, then I would be in prison just for protecting my own self and my family. These gun laws in this state are pathetic and asinine. This state in general is a joke. I wonder what would have happened if Soles had his house 3 miles South, which would be in South Carolina.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 25, 2010 at 12:23 PM
    If they break down my door, my first thought would be that I would be next and would be very fearful for my life if they have a gun or just their hands which can be a very deadly weapon.
  • by Anonymous Location: Wayne on Feb 25, 2010 at 11:25 AM
    I recently took the concealed weapons class and first and foremost you CAN NOT shoot anyone to protect PROPERTY! However i was taught that you can shoot while they are trying to break in the door or window but it is recommended to give at least one warning that you do have a gun. but once they are inside your home unless you absolutley fearing for your life you CAN NOT shoot the intruder! I know common sense someone breaks into your home you fear for your life...but you shoot the intruder and then it turns out they dont even have a weapon on them...you are screwed! NC Gun laws are very complicated and kind of rediculous but what can you do?!
  • by anon Location: wallace on Feb 25, 2010 at 09:34 AM
    TO ANNOYMOUS EARLIER- he shot him while he was walking away. he has had some relations with the young boys. there is no FORWARD MOTION. so he was not in fear of his life. no forward motion does not mean self defense.he gave them permission to fish his lake several times. bought corvettes and houses for them??? read the law
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