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Grand jury indicts Soles

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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A Columbus County grand jury indicted Sen. R.C. Soles for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Last month, a grand jury found probable cause to believe Soles had acted unlawfully when he shot 22-year-old Kyle Blackburn, a client of his law firm. Soles said former client Kyle Blackburn was trying to break into his home outside Tabor City when the shooting took place five months ago.

Today a grand jury decided there was enough evidence to move forward with a trial for North Carolina's longest serving state senator. The grand jury met at the Columbus County Court House behind close doors. Nine new members were selected to replace those who had fulfilled their service since granting the presentment last month.

Just after 2 p.m. the jury returned 59 true bills of indictment, one indicting Soles for assault with a deadly weapon, which is a Class E felony.

If he's found guilty Soles could serve up to two and a half years in prison. His next court date is scheduled for February 10.

Soles's attorneys Joe Cheshire and Brad Bannon said in a statement: "We are disappointed with the indictment of Senator Soles and maintain that he was acting in defense of himself and his home on August 23. We will continue to work with the Attorney General’s Office to resolve this unfortunate matter, consistent with the truth. Absent any new developments, we will have no further public comment about it."

No word yet on when soles will be arrested or turn himself in.

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