WHITEVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- Once again, a high bond won't keep a teen with ties to R.C. Soles behind bars very long. The 19-year-old with no job and no known source of legitimate income is on his way out of the Columbus County Jail after posting a $1 million bond. A deputy at the jail said at 12:40 p.m. Allen "Frog" Strickland was waiting to be fitted with a GPS device. He was released at 1:04 p.m.
This morning a judge set Strickland's bond at $5 million or $1 million with a GPS tracking device until a trial September 23 for charges of vandalism at Soles's house from an incident back in February. WWAY was the only Wilmington TV station at the hearing, which ended about 10:15 a.m. By 12:15 p.m., Sellers Bail Bonding has posted the $1 million bond for Strickland.
After today's hearing, Soles told WWAY he does not pay for Strickland's bonds, but that he does give his money to Strickland and other young men, because he is trying to help them because they've had such troubled pasts. Soles said it's his money, and he could do what he wants with it. He would not say when all the violence and vandalism would stop or why he does not cut off relations with the young men who continue to harass him.
The judge set the bond so high because he said his primary responsibility is to protect the victim, in this case Sen. Soles, and to protect Strickland. The judge said the bond was not a punishment on Strickland, but that he took into account the fact that Soles has already shot one man who continually harassed the former senator at his home near Tabor City. The judge and attorneys discussed in open court that this case is being handled like a domestic violence case would be.
Soles told the judge he thought the no contact rule against Strickland would be dismissed, but a deal in the works fell apart yesterday afternoon. Soles, who at one point got so emotional he could not keep talking, said he came to the hearing voluntarily, because he assumed he would be subpoenaed if not. Soles has been subpoenaed to testify against Strickland at trial.
Today's hearing came after Strickland landed in jail earlier this month after more vandalism at Soles's home. This time, Soles called a police officer's cell phone after Strickland allegedly broke a window on the house and a taillight on Soles's car. A magistrate released Strickland on a $1,000 secured bond after he turned himself in the day after the incident.
Strickland turned himself in to Tabor City Police back in February after investigators say he and B.J. Wright rammed the gates at Soles's home and did donuts in the yard before leading police on a high-speed chase. That case is the one scheduled for trial next month.
Police arrested Strickland again in April for another round of vandalism at the former senator's home. When a judge set Strickland's bond at $500,000, the teen, with no known job or legitimate source of income, bonded out within 90 minutes.
"I feel very sorry for the young man," a teary Soles said after that bond hearing on April 7. "I wish him well, and I don't wish him any ill will."