Over four decades ago, he was elected to the General Assembly in 1968.
He was the chairman of the Senate Democratic legislative body, the founding president of the Southeastern Community College Foundation, and a former member of the Governor’s Crime Commission.
Soles, who was never married, was inducted into the General Practice Hall of Fame by the North Carolina Bar Association in 2006, and was named as the 8th most effective member of the legislature by the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research.
In 1983, Soles was charged for conspiracy, vote buying, perjury, aiding and abetting bribery. The first three charges were dismissed, while he was acquitted of aiding and abetting Columbus County Commissioner Edward Walton Williamson in obtaining payoffs from undercover FBI agents.
On December 30, 2009, Soles (the longest-serving legislator in the state at that time) announced that he would not seek a 22nd consecutive term in the 2010 election, following a shooting incident that occurred in August 2009.
Soles, who is against gun ownership for the general public, shot one of the two intruders at his home in Tabor City, North Carolina, the county prosecutor said.
Kyle Blackburn, an alleged former client who had kicked Soles’ front door, was shot in the legs, and was later taken to a Southern Carolina hospital, according to Rex Gore, district attorney for Columbus, Bladen and Brunswick counties.
Blackburn was not seriously hurt, while B. J. Wright, his companion, was unscathed.
Soles claimed he shot Blackburn in self-defense, but the Grand Jury composed of 17 jurors decided otherwise.
The former senator was charged in a Grand Jury in Columbus County for assault with a deadly weapon with intent of inflicting serious bodily harm on January 7, 2010.
He pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and was fined $1,000.