Sen. R.C. Soles was back in Columbus Court today. Judge D. Jack Hooks called for the hearing after seeing our report last week that Soles has a prior criminal conviction.
As we reported exclusively last week, Soles pleaded guilty in 1971 to failing to stop for blue lights and sirens after leading police on a high-speed chase near Fayetteville in 1970. That crime is a misdemeanor. But after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon in the August shooting of Kyle Blackburn at the senator's home near Tabor City, Judge Hooks sentenced Soles based on a Type I prior offense record. Under state law, that meant Soles had zero prior criminal convictions.
After the sentencing, we reported the 1970 case, which apparently caught Hooks's attention. During a hearing in Whiteville today, the judge amended Soles's sentencing record to Type II instead of Type I. Soles's sentence of a $1,000 fine plus court costs was not changed.
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