Trial of man accused of pushing wife off cliff postponed

Posted March 12, 2012, at 11:09 a.m.
Last modified March 12, 2012, at 12:06 p.m.
Charles R. Black
Charles R. Black

ROCKLAND, Maine — The trial of a 69-year-old Rockland man accused of trying to kill his wife by pushing her off Maiden Cliff in Camden last year has been postponed to May at the earliest.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm approved an order March 5 in Knox County Superior Court that continues the pending trial of Charles R. Black to May or July. The trial was originally scheduled for March.

Hjelm also gave the parties until Friday to file motions such as a request to hold separate trials on the various charges lodged against Black and a request to move the trial to a different county because of pretrial publicity.

Black was indicted in July for attempted murder, two counts of elevated aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of domestic violence assault. The charges were filed following an April 7, 2011, incident at the top of Mount Megunticook at a spot known as Maiden Cliff.

The state contends that Black struck his wife, Lisa, one or more times in the head with a rock, dragged her body to the edge of the cliff and pushed her off the mountain. Black told police he had passed out and fell forward, striking the back of his wife’s head with his head, according to the police report filed at the time of the incident.

Lisa Black fell a short distance, but then got up and managed to make it down to the bottom of the mountain, where she was spotted by a passing motorist. She was taken to the hospital, and Charles Black was found injured after a subsequent search. He was arrested a few days later after he was released from Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.

His wife had recently inherited $4 million and she told police that her husband had been taking her money without her permission, according to police reports. The wife also maintained that Charles Black had been having an online affair with a former girlfriend from Arizona.

On March 1, Hjelm also approved a motion filed by the defense, with no objections from the state, that Charles Black’s bail be amended to allow him to travel out of state to Peabody, Mass., for his Mini Cooper car to be serviced.

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