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Tabor City arson investigation heats up

READ MORE: Tabor City arson investigation heats up
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On Wednesday, 17-year-old Allen Strickland's Tabor City home went up in flames while he was sleeping inside.

Strickland escaped with minor injuries, and the State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the fire as a suspected arson. Strickland told WWAY's Ann McAdams that State Senator R.C. Soles gave him tens of thousands of dollars in cash to build the house just a few months ago.

WWAY obtained a copy of the deed, and it is in Strickland's name, prepared by Sen. Soles's law firm. Some of our viewers have asked how a 17-year-old can legally hold the deed to a piece of property. Strickland doesn't live with his parents, and if he's been legally emancipated from them, attorneys we've consulted say it could give him the legal right to own property, even though most people can't have property in their name until they're 18. We've been unable to confirm that Strickland has been legally emancipated by the courts.

The Columbus County Courthouse has no emancipation decree in his name, but it's possible that it was processed in another jurisdiction. Insurance adjusters visited the burned-out house Friday to survey the damage. While much of the frame remains standing, the inside of the house suffered heavy smoke and fire damage, and it could be a total loss.

We put in another call to Sen. Soles Friday for comment on this story. Once again, we did not get a return call.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Because he is a NC SENATOR!

I can't believe that some people and news media think it's not worth writing when an elected official is involved where there has been a crime committed. The fact is, the boy was in his home when the fire was set. Any other time that would be considered attempted murder. This is no different than shooting into an occupied dwelling yet, it is only being investigated as an arson?? It is funny how the media picks and chooses what elected officials they want to write about. What does this man have on Star News or WECT that they don't want to cover this story????? These media do cover STATE news. OR DO THEY??? Thank YOU WWAY TV3 for covering this story and making the public aware of what our elected officials are involved in. Your team showed it's professionalism once again over other local media.

By the time

next year's election comes around, this will be a dead horse. If this affects his ability to represent his District, then seek to have him impeached. Or, find a better qualified candidate who will do more than confront him with innuendos and will focus on how he or she can better represent the voters.

Protocol

It seems as though an elected official's duties are impaired when he is not available to the media during important sessions. If he is to "represent us" he should have no reason to order reporters off his property and should get more reliable wireless service. What a great commercial for the competing phone company!

Land Line

It was my understanding that the calls were both made and received from land lines. The first 9 minutes of the phone interview were fine. It was only when asked about Stickland did he have a problem hearing. According to the story Mr. Wuzzardo called back immediately after the phone went dead on the same number and the phone was answered by the Senators assistant who said the Senator wasn't available for comment.

Can you hear me now? on land line?

Thanks for the clarification. It seems lame that he would try to use the old "can you hear me now" excuse on a land line. Guess he was caught of guard! The element of surprise is priceless.

Senator Soles need to speak

Senator Soles need to speak up. His silence will just cause speculation.

stop fluffing this story.. who really cares?

Why is there so much attention in the media about this weird, wacky story? How much can be made of it?? I hope you will continue to investigate it, however don't keep the fluff up when there really isn't much else to say. Thank you.

No one should be surprised

Growing up in Columbus County, everyone knew the RC Soles had a dark underside. People held their noses, and voted for him anyhow. More qualified candidates lost, and RC kept going to Raleigh. Maybe he has finally slipped up enough for people to take notice. Once this is laid bare, I wonder what else will pop up.

Soles should go

Thanks for staying on this story. For too long the senator has got away with this type of activity. Check out the Whiteville newspaper, they have no mention of the story online.

I'm also curious about the video...

I'm curious about some video footage I saw earlier about this story that showed the 17 year old riding around on his ATV. The ATV had a rifle rack on it, and if he's a minor and living on his own I'd be curious to know if he's got firearms, and what legal issues there might be there as well?

It seems to me that Allen

It seems to me that Allen just bit the hand that feeds him...