Reporter by Claire Simms -
Posted by Debra Worley -
Updated by Peter Smelser -
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - District Attorney Rex Gore announced Wednesday morning that he would remove himself from the investigation of State Senator R.C. Soles.
Gore says he does not see any conflict in his handling of the case, or any other involving the state's longest-serving senator, but he decided to recuse himself.
"Based on the evidence we had seen and the evidence that we had reviewed, that it would be better if the Attorney General's Office made whatever decision needed to be made," said Gore.
According to a release sent from Gore's office, the Special Prosecution Unit of the State Attorney's General's Office will assume full responsibility for the investigation and decision making process in the shooting that occurred at the home of Senator R.C. Soles on August 23, 2009.
In the statement Gore wrote:
While I am satisfied there is no actual conflict which prevents my office from handling this matter, it has become increasingly clear that transferring this to Special Prosecutions is the best alternative. This case involves complex issues of the legal principles of self defense and defense of habitation. When the public examines the final decision in this case, the focus should be on the merits of the decision, unclouded by the question of who made the decision.
According to the release, the Special Prosecutions Unit has all the information regarding the case and have always been ready to step in to assume total control of the process.
Gore is known to be a long-time friend of Soles. Campaign finance records show Gore has given $800 to Soles' senate campaigns since 1998. The senator has returned the favor by giving Gore $1,000 for his campaign.
"They're concerned about that and we don't need that," said Gore. "We need folks to be able to focus in on the decision that's made based on the law and the facts."