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Tabor City teen arson victim says he's afraid for his life

READ MORE: Tabor City teen arson victim says he's afraid for his life

Seventeen-year-old Allen Strickland says Sen. R.C. Soles bought the house for him that went up in flames early Wednesday morning. The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to look at a suspected case of arson at the house on March Avenue in Tabor City.

Strickland, called "Frog" by his family and friends, was inside sleeping early Wednesday morning, and woke up to a bedroom full of smoke. He says he had to jump out of an upstairs window to escape with his life. It appears the brand new house is a total loss. For now, Stricklan is staying with his grandmother who lives next door.

"My grandma, she's worried to death that whoever done it might go to her house and do it again because of me being there," he said.

There haven't been any arrests for the suspected arson, but fire investigators think this is an isolated incident. Still, people who live near the crime scene aren't exactly resting easy.

"I just hope they catch the person that done it," neighbor Sherry Nealey said.

"That's my main concern is they catch the person because if it's someone trying to hurt him, they need to be caught." Another big element in this story, the benefactor of the house.

Strickland is 17 years old and doesn't have a job or parents active in his life. He says Sen. Soles paid for his house, his Corvette, and a pair of four-wheelers, on top of giving him a generous allowance if Strickland agreed to finish school. WWAY has been been trying to reach Sen. Soles to confirm that for weeks.

Morning anchor Kevin Wuzzardo finally talked to the Senator on Tuesday, and this is what happened: Kevin: "On another matter, a young man named Allen Strickland told us that you've given him tens of thousands of dollars to pay for his house and his car, as part of an arrangement that if he finishes school, you'll buy him these things. Have you given him that money?:

Soles: "I cannot hear you."

Kevin: (Louder) "A young man named Allen Strickland told us that you've given him tens of thousands of dollars to pay for his house and his car."

Soles: "I cannot hear you, speak up."

Kevin: (Louder) "A young man named Allen Strickland - "

Soles: "Speak up."

Kevin: "Do you hear me, Senator?"

The phone then went dead. Sen. Soles had no problems hearing during the first nine minutes of the interview about the state budget, and he wasn't available when we called back after the line went dead. Strickland hasn't talked to Sen. Soles either.

"I've had no contact with him since Saturday when we had a falling out," Strickland said.

The entire Strickland family has been affected by the incident. His sister says she fears for his life. "Who could have done this? Who would have that spite on a 17-year-old child?," asked Cheyanne Strickland.

Cheyenne Strickland says her brother and the Senator have had a rocky relationship for some time. "He's threatened his life many times, and told him if you do not get off my driveway, and leave me alone, you're dead," Cheyanne told WWAY.

We will continue to reach out to Sen. Soles for comment. If you're wondering, Allen Strickland's home was covered by insurance.

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.



Everybody just sit back pop some popcorn and watch the show. The police dept, fire marshals office, and the sbi are getting what they need in the investigation. But the question is will this be like all the other crimes to where they do find out who did it but the CC DA'S office want do anything about it but take a plea if that and just slap them on the wrist and let them go.

Hearing Problem

"Senator Soles had no problems hearing during the first 9 minutes of the interview about the state budget, and he wasn't available when we called back after the line went dead." That's some hearing problem. I've never heard of "selective hearing". Perhaps the SBI and the FBI could provide Mr. Soles with a hearing device and then we could get to the bottom of this problem. It's time the truth came out, whatever that is, publicly and through an official investigation. Especially in light of this recent event. Might be something, might not. But when the public demands an answer, ask Ms. Easley about the bright light shining and she'll tell you that it's hot. Who's going to raise the temperature on Soles?


A 17 year old with a house, a corvette, and 2 ATV vehicles - what gives? There seems to be much more than is being told here. For so many years, there have been so many rumors about Senator Soles and his lifestyle, and there have been many complaints about him, but I have never seen any follow up or any investigation being done. What gives? This young man either is really dumb or really smart?!! Sounds like he has been given lots of gifts and financial help - in the "old days" a female in the same situation had what was called a "sugar daddy" and for those of you with any age on you, you know what that means.

The cash trail

The United States Treasury (IRS) require the disclosure of all cash transactions over the amount of $2,500.00, I believe. It would be interesting to see if and every cash transaction regarding the Senator and Mr. Strickland has been properly disclosed. Additionally, as a previous poster mentioned the IRS should certainly be interested in collecting any all gift taxes that should be paid. Popcorn, anyone?


To the folks who don't live in this town, you don't understand at all what's going on. This type of association has been going on since I was small. I could write a book. Why are there always problems with the young boy clients and not with others? The supposely good Christian people in this town know and have known for years and they just turn the other way and pretend that they don't see anything because of who he is.I thought in this great state that NOBODY is above the law. I think it's time for our law enforcement in this state to step up and do the right thing. I have personally witnessed to many times to count what really goes on. I don't think other attorneys in this county share the closeness that he shares with his clients !!!!!!!!


This is very creepy and fishy. He knew this kid cause he had him arrested a while back for stealing his lights or something. Said the kid tried to extort him then by going to the press with the story. It was in the Star news.




This is a repeat many times over with Senator Soles, how many times have we seen this same thing. Anyone from this area knows what i'm talking about. Just look in past newspapers and the story will tell itself, Senator Soles has always had a group of clients that he represents (A young group) that he also has had run ins with that always results in Law Enforcement being called. There is no doubt that Senator Soles is a good Senator but, that dosen't make him above the law. His DARK personal life has alot to say about his character.

A good Senator?

You say there is "no doubt that Senator Soles is a good Senator". I say you and he (maybe you are he)are completely out of touch. He has represented Columbus County for 40+ years and they are one of the poorest and most uneducated counties in the state. What has he done for education? What has he done to bring in business? NOTHING! They have an industrial park between Chadbourn and Whiteville with no business. What about taxes, why does his county have such high tax rates within the townships? Please tell me what makes him a good senator in your mind. This situation and his career completely confirm my thoughts on term limits. I would say he is out of touch, but when in his life has he ever know what regular Americans go through. As far at the money goes, WWAY should solicit the help of the IRS to find out if Strickland has been paying taxes on all this "help". I think their questions would aid in uncovering the truth.


Amen brother

It ought to be

fairly simple to trace the money. Especially with arson suspected. Rest Assured the insurance company will be looking closely at this before they pay a dime. It's likely, they or the state arson investigators will look closely at the source of the funding for the purchase. It's one thing to speculate for the media. It's another thing to make statements under oath.

Investigate, yes !

Don't be surprized if the finger turns around and points at the "victim". Allegedly he heard a knock on the door, went and checked and nobody was there, went back to sleep and woke later to find house on fire. If you go to burn somebody's house down, you don't usually knock on the door. And if you get up before day to answer the door, and nobody is there, you probably would not go right back to sleep. Guilty people crafting an alibi, usually wind up telling too many details.

you evidently don't know

you evidently don't know anything about what is going on. I don' think he would have jumped out of a second story window. Frog is not the only one that is involved in this cash giveaway

Heard a "knock"

The fire happened at the front door, a knock could have come from a device tossed at the front door or brick stoop to set off an firebomb. And sometimes before you set a structure on fire you might just be interested in the destruction of property and not murder, knock on the door and wait to see if anyone is at home. Did he say "knocking" or "knock" Knock is singular. Knocking is multiple times. Is there a doorbell? But yes, this kid could have created all this for what? He already has more money than most of us do and he's only 17, a house, a car, four wheelers, all paid for by the senator. He wants to risk everything to draw attention to himself? What's the motive, insurance? Last time I checked insurance companies don't pay out for arson unless it can be proved that the owner didn't do the burning. Who you working for Guest243?

News coverage / Soles

Thanks for continuing to follow up and report on the R C Soles story. I want to know more, so I went to that other local channel and the story wasn't even mentioned. Why is that? They seem to be more interested in reporting the "man has sex with horse" story. Anyway, Thanks WWAY. Please stick with the Tabor City scandal and tell us more.


I just want to know why he bought Frog 2 four wheelers. Did RC go four wheeling with him?


Maybe he's just trying to help a young man out who has no parenting.

R.C. Soles

oh, if it were just that wholesome and simple. no one today would pay for a house and a car and toys without having to do it... there is much more to this story than meets the eyes of everyone. a man doesn't continue paying for the things R.C. Soles has if he doesn't have something to hide, otherwise, being an attorney, why would he not have charges of extortion filed against this boy?? go back and read the last couple of years news reports on the people involved here and you will see there is a pattern.....


Allen Strickland has had many run-ins with the law. Senator Soles, on many occasions, has tried to help Strickland channel his energies into more constructive pursuits--finishing school, for example. Soles, like his father, is a philanthropic man who has contributed financial support to numerous people in and around the area. Should he not be commended for his generosity?

why cash

WHAT attorney pays philanthropic matters in CASH? WHY again would an ATTORNEY and Senator do this with CASH? Because he knows the podunk local officials are ALSO SCARED of him and they are such barney's they have no clue how to handle this. Law enforcement in Columbus County is the biggest joke - but sadly not funny. NONE of us are safe in this county with our PODUNK sheriffs who only need a certificate from a six month class. Pathetic, but the losers in the county keep voting for these people.

You need to think about it

You need to think about it this way. It is not our Law Enforcement in this county that is a joke, its the court system that is a joke. When our law enforcement arrest somebody they make it back home before the officer does. So the question is why want our DA'S office do something besides slapping people on the hand and letting them go.It's not worth our officers getting killed over something that our court system isnt going to do anything about. This is why crime in this county is so bad because nothing is ever done to the criminals, they just keep getting released to do more crime. If you were a criminal and you knew all you would get is probation, wouldnt you do the crime?

If Soles was being so

If Soles was being so philanthropic, I don't think he would be dodging the media on this issue. He would be standing up publicly, and making sure his constituents know how hard he has tried to help this boy.

Everyone knows how

Everyone knows how philanthropic R C Soles is with young boys. He is just a wonderful old man giving out corvettes and houses. Oh yeah, Mr. Soles helps finance the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus too.

r c

is his money he can do what he wants 2 with it.

This is going to be the best

This is going to be the best scandal since the Clinton-Lewinski thing. No way RC gave a kid a house and a car without gaining something in return.

Gaining something or trying

Gaining something or trying to keep Strickland from exposing something?