ROCKLAND, Maine — A Camden man accused of trying to push his wife off a cliff was indicted on multiple charges by a grand jury on Thursday.
Charles Reed Black, 68, who now lives in Rockland, was charged with attempted murder and myriad assault charges that could earn him up to 225 years in prison if he is found guilty.
Before Thursday, Black faced one aggravated assault charge. The grand jury added another seven charges, including attempted murder.
Police say Black smashed a rock over his wife’s head during a hike on Mount Megunticook in Camden Hills State Park on April 7. He then dragged her to the edge of Maiden Cliff and shoved her off, according to the indictment released Thursday afternoon.
Black also fell down the mountain and injured himself. His wife, Lisa Black, made it down the mountain alive, but injured. A passer-by saw her standing bloody in the road and called 911. Police searched the mountain for Charles Black, found him, pulled him down the mountain, hospitalized him and then arrested him a few days later as he was being discharged.
Black is free on bail.
The grand jury on Thursday indicted him on charges of attempted murder, two counts of elevated aggravated assault, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of domestic violence assault.
Police reports filed in Knox County Superior Court indicate greed as a possible motive for Black’s alleged attempt to kill his wife. Lisa Black recently had inherited about $4 million.
Shortly after the incident, Lisa Black filed for and was granted a protection from abuse order against her husband. In her filing, she wrote that this wasn’t the first time her husband tried to kill her.
Lisa Black felt “he has been trying to kill her,” according to the police report filed with the court. “A couple of weeks ago Charles had climbed a ladder to the attic. Lisa was standing at the bottom of the ladder when Charles fell down on top of her. Charles told her that he passed out.”
Additionally, the couple had climbed Mount Battie — which, like Mount Megunticook, is in Camden Hills State Park — and Lisa Black told police her husband came up behind her and hit her when she was near the edge of that mountain. He hit her hard enough for her to fall to the ground, she said. Charles Black told his wife he had passed out in that instance too.
Two of the charges the Knox County grand jury brought against Black are dated in March. The indictments do not give details, but based on the timing, the charges likely are related to Lisa Black’s allegations of previous murder attempts.