Sen. Soles pleads to assault charge

WHITEVILLE North Carolina's longest-serving lawmaker agreed to pay a $1,000 fine. He did not receive any jail time.

"It's a very fine delicate place where you are defending your home and someone gets shot on a second shot," Defense Attorney Joe Cheshire said. "He was defending his home."

"I'm very glad to have it behind me as much as it is, I'm sorry it happened, I thought it was in the right," Senator R.C. Soles Jr. said. "Sometimes you make bad judgments."

A grand jury indicted state Sen. R.C. Soles back in January on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Soles later turned himself in.

Authorities have said the Columbus County Democrat shot Thomas Kyle Blackburn after two intruders kicked in the front door of the lawmaker's secluded Tabor City home. Blackburn - a former legal client of Soles - wasn't badly hurt.

Attorney Joe Cheshire has said Soles fired in self defense.

Soles said back in January that he won't seek re-election this year to the General Assembly, where he was first elected in 1968.

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