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Late Afternoon in the Garden of Good and Evil
August 24, 2009 3:23 PM   Subscribe

RC Soles, the longest serving NC state legislator, aged 75, shot a young man who was allegedly trying to kick in the front door of his home in Tabor City. According to his 97 year old father,“It's a bunch of drunk heads and drug heads trying to force him to keep giving them money. That's my personal opinion.” But this is not the “younger” Soles first brush with scandal.
posted by Huplescat (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
R Soles by name...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:26 PM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


So did they take a mugshot after he was shot, or did they just have one handy?
posted by smackfu at 3:26 PM on August 24, 2009


Senator RC Soles (influence peddling, vote tampering, buying votes for District Attorney candidate Rex Gore, conspiracy to affect commerce by extortion)

Yikes.
posted by mecran01 at 3:46 PM on August 24, 2009


So, the state senator bought a 17 y.o. boy a Corvette and a house. Then the senator shoots the boy in the back of a leg when the boy and a friend visit. Something tells me there's sex, "hush-money" and scandal afoot!
posted by ericb at 3:49 PM on August 24, 2009


A man who said he was R.C. Soles' father on Monday said the incidents were all misunderstandings.

I would say this is the weirdest part of the whole thing except that everything else is the weirdest part too. They did an interview but aren't confident enough that they were actually talking to Elder Soles to say as much without qualification?

And what the hell is going on with that Strickland kid? And what's with the arson? And what in the hell, just in general?

On a less sequel-to-Twin-Peaks-in medias res front, I was not familiar with the usage "drug heads" or "drunk heads". They aren't surprising or anything (and the analogy to e.g. the familiar "potheads", "cokeheads", etc. makes sense) but it's new to me. Something about "drunk heads" in particular just feels weirdly stilted.
posted by cortex at 3:51 PM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


So, the state senator bought a 17 y.o. boy a Corvette and a house. Then the senator shoots the boy in the back of a leg when the boy and a friend visit.

Strickland is the kid with the vette and the flammable house. Blackburn and Wright are the ones who paid a visit, Blackburn the one who got shot.
posted by cortex at 3:52 PM on August 24, 2009


cortex -- you're right. I stand corrected. Strange story, nonetheless.
posted by ericb at 3:56 PM on August 24, 2009


Is it legal to shoot somebody through your front door in North Carolina?
I would have thought that even in the South this sort of thing would be frowned upon.
posted by Flashman at 3:57 PM on August 24, 2009


Regarding "drug heads" and "drunk heads", anti-drug types who have never had any actual experience with drug culture often try to use slang that they have never actually heard in real day to day use, and often come off sounding a bit off.

Like this one time when I mentioned to someone "yeah we were going to invite a bunch of people over, smoke a bunch of dope and paint the house with all these random colors of paint", and they were all like "what they would smoke heroin and then paint?" because they read in an anti-drug book that dope meant heroin.
posted by idiopath at 4:04 PM on August 24, 2009


With respect to the last link in the post, the one describing the 1983 drug ring:
"... RC Soles was successfully defended by famed Duke lacrosse attorney Joe Cheshire who viciously attacked undercover FBI Agent Drdak's truthfulness. ..."
If RC Soles wasn't convicted of a crime, at trial, back then, why are those old allegations still of interest? Digging up old charges, that weren't substantiated at trial, sort of defeats the whole purpose of public trials in our judicial system, and in my opinion, it's borderline yellow journalism.
posted by paulsc at 4:05 PM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh wow there's a good story here somewhere. Watch the pre-shooting interview with Soles. The guy has his fingers in everyone's pot. So many references to so-and-sos brother. To top it all off, the DA is buddy buddy with Soles, both contributing to each other's campaigns but he's not giving the case to a special prosecutor (yet). Strickland was arrested on breaking an entering, he's the teen with the house, 'vette and rockin' NC stache. He was apparently involved in an arson at Soles' law partner's father's house? Top it all off Soles has surveillance equipment surrounding the house. What kind of people have surveillance cameras pointed at their house? The Wire has taught me to immediately go to drug dealers.

I don't think this is just about gay sex, there's too much money flowing around here. I wouldn't be surprised that this guy was running a lot of sleezy fraud related businesses. Way too much arson and breaking and entering surrounding him to say otherwise. It might not even involve drugs at all, but meth-faced twenty-somethings have me suspicious. According to the kid who was shot, they were on Soles' pier and saw him at the backdoor (no explanation as to why they were on the pier). They tried to enter through the back, he didn't respond and then they tried to enter through the front. He confronted them with a shotgun and they told him they were leaving. Looks like someone didn't pay someone.

Wow nice to see the good old boy network still lives on in NC. Lawyer to everyone in town, friends with the DA, sitting on the legislator. Surprised he hasn't paid anyone off in the media as that local television station seems to be really dogging him. I'm sure there are rumors around town, any locals know the real story?
posted by geoff. at 4:09 PM on August 24, 2009


According to my local paper both the man who was shot and his companion had been released from prison earlier this year (in unrelated cases) and both of them have been represented by Soles (the shooter) in the past.


Welcome to the South. You'll probably never find out the real story in the paper.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:12 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


It is not only legal, it is expected. Not shooting your rent boy apres rendez-vous d'amour would be unforgivable; if Soles is forced to resign, it will be because his target was merely wounded. With the life insurance money, Blackburn's family could have bought a new tractor. Now they are saddled with his hospital bills.
posted by boo_radley at 4:15 PM on August 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Why am I reminded of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:17 PM on August 24, 2009


Answer--it's the post title, dummy.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:17 PM on August 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Gasp! Yellow journalism!

/passed out from attack of the vapours.
posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


In Wilmington for a quick stop Monday morning, [Senator Kay] Hagan said: “I highly admire Senator Soles, and I know he has done an excellent job for his district over the years.”

Politics. It is to laugh. After being told a fellow politician has shot somebody all she can say is "I highly admire him and he has done a good job." Normal people would say something like, "I was so shocked. I've known Senator Soles for a long time and I can't believe this." or "I am praying for both men." or "Hot damn. Soles finally screwed up for the last time. Let's see him get out of this mess."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:30 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


According to my local paper both the man who was shot and his companion had been released from prison earlier this year (in unrelated cases) and both of them have been represented by Soles (the shooter) in the past.

All other things aside, if I were a 72-year-old attorney who represented two young men who subsequently went to prison, then after release showed up at my door and started trying to kick it in, I would certainly be more than a little nervous.
posted by davejay at 4:30 PM on August 24, 2009


In the three county district of Brunswick, Columbus, and Bladen Counties, there have been three politicians who have ruled the area for many years. One is R.C. Soles, who is the most senior member of the North Carolina Senate. One is Ron Hewitt, who was the Sheriff of Brunswick County. And one is Rex Gore, who is the District Attorney for the three county area.

R.C. Soles recently saw his law partner become appointed as a new judge, despite the fact that she owed 76,000 dollars in back taxes. She surprisingly was able to quickly come up with the money. Yes, her salary is paid with taxpayer money. Perhaps her salary would be higher if people paid their taxes. Soles is currently being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation.

Sheriff Ron Hewitt was recently sentenced to sixteen months in Federal Prison. The Federal Bureau of Investigation made his case.

District Attorney Rex Gore has not prosecuted Soles or Hewitt for anything. He has, however, hired former Brunswick County Detective Lt. David Crocker to work in his office as an investigator. This is the same David Crocker who was involved in a rather questionable shooting of a man who answered his door at night with a shotgun in his hand. Yes, Rex Gore hired a man who was being investigated by the State Bureau of Investigation for his role in a shooting that is being prosecuted by his own office.
posted by flarbuse at 4:38 PM on August 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


A Soles/Strickland timeline, excerpts from an interview with Soles, and a bit about Soles filing police reports re: Strickland, all of this from WECT.

So it seems like Soles isn't totally avoiding the media; he may be stiffarming WWAY, but WECT has gotten him talking.
posted by cortex at 4:40 PM on August 24, 2009


"what they would smoke heroin and then paint?" because they read in an anti-drug book that dope meant heroin.

And all of us hiplers know that dope is the marihuana pot.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 4:43 PM on August 24, 2009


This sounds like a good example for my argument that Power itself does not so much corrupt as it attracts already-corrupt people who realize they need the Power just to keep themselves out of jail. As for how corrupt people got into positions of Power in the first place, it's usually a combination of a hand-up from already-empowered co-conspirators, an acceptance of the corruption by the electorate (who have been taught that 'all power corrupts', so you may as well make sure the corrupted are members of your party/club/race) and the ability of good PR and advertising (and bad local jounalism) to sell the bad guy as a good guy. I was considering listing some of the 'triumphs of advertising' in and out of politics, but I know it'd just derail the thread (Palin).
posted by wendell at 5:02 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


"drunk heads" is pretty good, but absolutely the hilariousest part of this story is that they couldn't just talk to the 75 year old, million-year veteran politician. They also had to talk to his DAD.
posted by DU at 5:27 PM on August 24, 2009


Something about "drunk heads" in particular just feels weirdly stilted.

The guy's 97, which (at least in my opinion) should earn him a free pass on the correct usage of current slang. His meaning was clear.
posted by deadmessenger at 5:31 PM on August 24, 2009


Oh, I'm not trying to slag his usage. I presume by default that it's natural for him and that my eyebrow-hitching is a product of my lack of familiarity with a particular regional or temporal idiom. It's interesting to me because it's new to me, not because I have any reason to think it's wrong.
posted by cortex at 5:36 PM on August 24, 2009


He's 97... maybe it's prohibition slang.
posted by smackfu at 5:50 PM on August 24, 2009


Just so you know cortex, this is the kind of behavior you can expect when you visit the Old North State next month.

Seriously, don't piss us off or we'll shoot you.
posted by Rangeboy at 6:19 PM on August 24, 2009


Here's to the land of the long leaf pine
The summer land, where the sun doth shine
Where the weak go strong and the strong grow great.
Here's to "Down Home," the old north state.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:25 PM on August 24, 2009


My mom has, on numerous occasions, referred to 'drug heads.' She is 71 years old and hails from western N.C. Hearing it expanded to include 'drunk heads' wouldn't surprise me in the least. I think it's a generational/regional thing. Or a defective slang gland, your choice.

That said, this is a fabulous tale of the old boy network run amok in fine southern style. I hope someone tells the full story properly once it's done.
posted by notashroom at 6:37 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Huh. I never knew that 'drunk heads' is not in the general American dialect. I grew up in a Georgia town where the only place to drink was the local Applebees franchise, though there was a drive-thru liquor store. It's used like the term 'crackhead'. Most of the churchgoing townspeople had never seen a crackhead other than on the evening news, so drunks would be substituted as the local object of disdain and pity. "Ol' drunk head Charlie is back panhandling at the Kroger again." "I caught Matt with liquor on his breath again. He's going to turn into a drunk head if I don't whoop his behind." "Those stupid drunk head girls got expelled for drinking vodka out of gatorade bottles at school and sayin' it was water."
posted by Alison at 7:19 PM on August 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was not familiar with the usage "drug heads" or "drunk heads".

Nobody uses "hop head" anymore, but it was the original "drug head" referring to opium.
posted by Brian B. at 9:01 PM on August 24, 2009


Well, they do use "hop head" but it means something different.
posted by smackfu at 9:13 PM on August 24, 2009


idiopath: Like this one time when I mentioned to someone "yeah we were going to invite a bunch of people over, smoke a bunch of dope and paint the house with all these random colors of paint", and they were all like "what they would smoke heroin and then paint?" because they read in an anti-drug book that dope meant heroin.

This is purely anecdotal, but in my experience here in the UK, 'dope' is never used to refer to marijuana specifically, but is rather used for heroin, and to a lesser degree for drugs in general. So yeah, if a mate of mine told me he had some dope, I would absolutely assume it was heroin.
posted by Dysk at 9:34 PM on August 24, 2009


Living here pisses off all the right people.
posted by Avenger at 10:29 PM on August 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


the guy was a dick anyway
posted by MrTenacious at 12:02 AM on August 25, 2009


You may want to note this, buried to the bottom of the 'brush with scandal' link: RC Soles was successfully defended by famed Duke lacrosse attorney Joe Cheshire who viciously attacked undercover FBI Agent Drdak's truthfulness.
posted by Anything at 2:40 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, apologies to paulsc; should've read the thread.
posted by Anything at 2:45 AM on August 25, 2009


Think that old man has read the Flapper's Dictionary?
posted by grubi at 6:04 AM on August 25, 2009


Given the further evidence, I guess it is more likely unfamiliar slang than misused slang. Regarding the dope tangent, in the time and place where I had that conversation, "smoking dope" meant smoking marijuana, and "shooting dope" meant injecting heroin. I think that these are still standard meanings in most of the US.
posted by idiopath at 8:02 AM on August 25, 2009


Doing a little more online research at places like urbandictionary, it looks like I was the outdated and foolish one for calling marijuana dope, which officially went out of style in the '80s.
posted by idiopath at 8:06 AM on August 25, 2009


Is it legal to shoot somebody through your front door in North Carolina?
I would have thought that even in the South this sort of thing would be frowned upon.


Not sure about that, but it's OK for a policeman to shoot you through your front door
posted by neat-o at 12:54 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


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