COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A two-year-old video of an interview with Allen “Frog” Strickland by investigators looking into a fire at his house has some damning accusations against former state Sen. R.C. Soles.
The video shows Strickland talking to Tabor City Police about the fire, but the conversation quickly turns to his relationship with Soles.
The video was not used in court for Strickland’s arson trials, but does have a few confessions that could put Strickland into hot water.
“He’s been giving me plenty of money, you’re damn right,” Strickland said when a police officer asked him July 30, 2009, about money the teen received from Soles. “It’s on public record. It was on public record when he started giving it to me when he run me over with his car and broke my leg and carried me to the hospital and he signed the release form his self. That’s when all the money started coming in, when he ran me over, to keep my mouth shut.”
Strickland told Tabor City Police that Soles paid him $800 to keep quiet. He says that to Soles this payment was “pocket change” and he later received more than $20,000 in one payment.
Strickland said when investigators asked about how his leg was broken, he lied and contradicted a story they heard from one of Strickland’s friends.
“Jason went up there. That’s how I know,” Strickland said, though it’s unclear in the video who Jason is. “Jason went up there and told the truth, because Jason went to Raleigh and the feds come down the next day and said ‘Frog, R.C. run you over?’ And I was on my crutches still, and I said, ‘No. R.C.ain’t run me over.’ I said I fell off Grandma’s porch. It’s on public record, though, that Jason all witnessed it. They knew I was lying when they come down and ask me that. R.C. Had paid me the night before, so I kept my mouth shut.”
Strickland said he threatened to tell a federal grand jury in Raleigh everything he knew about Soles just days before his house fire. He says he thinks soles, who purchased the home for the teen, was involved in the fire.
Strickland also credits WWAY for proof of Soles’s guilt.
“But, if you would have watched the news last night, R.C. looks guilty as he could be,” Soles said to police. “Did you see it? They got him on the phone. They just talked to him an hour before that talking about the state budget for a full hour. It was an hour or so before they called him back about me, talking about the state budget. Said they hung up. They decided they’d call back and ask him about my house, so they called back and asked about my house, and he was talking just fine in the beginning, and then he was like, ‘hello? Hello? I can’t hear you.'”
The conversation we had with Soles about the budget and paying for Strickland’s call actually happened in one nine-minute phone call, but Soles did suddenly claim he could no longer hear our reporter when asked about the house.
We attempted to speak with Strickland today about the video, but he told us he had no comments and to talk to his attorney. When we called his attorney Craig Wright, he also said no comment.
We have attempted to contact Soles, but he has not returned our calls.