COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- After years of making headlines for committing crimes, a Columbus County man with ties to R.C. Soles pleaded guilty today sending him to prison for years.
Earlier this week a judge gave B.J. Wright a nearly $4 million bond. On his way out of the courtroom Wright reportedly told a bailiff, "I'll be home by Christmas." But today he found out he won't be going home any time soon.
After years of gaining notoriety for his run-ins with the law, Wright is on the fast track to prison. Thursday, he pleaded guilty to crimes including cocaine possession, running from police, harassment of a juror and obstruction of justice.
District Attorney Jon David says Wright was sentenced to between 12.5 and more than 17 years behind bars.
"What that effectively means under any set of scenarios is that he is going to serve at least a decade and a half in the prison system before he would be eligible for any type of release," David said. "This is a very real punishment. It's the end of the road for a man that really deserved a significant sentence."
Wright has gone to many lengths to avoid jail time, including jumping from a second-story window at the Columbus County Courthouse in August. David says he hopes other people realize they cannot avoid or tamper with the judicial system.
He says Wright's sentence is a very big victory for Columbus County. The DA thinks the community as a whole will be a safer place with wright locked up.
"It's really a triumph to understand that no one is above the law and you will be held ultimately responsible for your behavior," David said. "Today a man got 17 years, and he needed it."
We tried to talk to some Columbus County residents this afternoon. They did not want to go on camera, but they said say they think Wright is ultimately messed up because of his relationship with Soles.