R.C. Soles has spent 42 years in the state senate. His visit to jail lasted barely as many minutes.
The longest serving member of the state legislature turned himself in just after 11 a.m. Friday. Thursday a grand jury indicted him for assault with a deadly weapon. The charge stems from the August shooting of Kyle Blackburn, a law client of the senator, at Soles's home outside Tabor City.
"I wish I were free to comment to you," Soles told reporters on his way into the jail. "But it would be totally inappropriate under any circumstances now."
The senator said nothing as he walked back to his car around noon after posting a $5,000 bond. His attorney said little more, including when asked how the criminal charges would affect Soles's ability to serve out the remainder of his term.
"You know I want to leave all questions like that until later," attorney Brad Bannon said, "and I hope you all can appreciate that, because this is now a pending case, and there are rules about as it relates to speaking about pending cases publicly."
Soles's next court date is scheduled for Feb. 10.