June 20, 2018
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Man convicted of trying to kill wife on Camden cliff to be sentenced in September

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 71-year-old man who was convicted last week of trying to kill his wife by pushing her off Maiden Cliff in Camden more than three years ago will learn his fate in two months.

Sentencing for Charles Black has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 25. The hearing will be held in Knox County Superior Court before Justice Joyce Wheeler.

Black faces up to 30 years in prison for the attempted murder charge. He also was convicted of elevated aggravated assault and aggravated assault.

District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau said after Black was convicted July 21 he would seek a term that would, in effect, be a life sentence for the defendant.

The Knox County jury deliberated for 90 minutes before finding Black guilty of striking his now ex-wife Lisa Zahn in the back of the head three times with a rock, then dragging her to the edge of the 800-foot Maiden Cliff and pushing her off in April 2011.

Zahn landed on a small ledge 10 feet below the top of the cliff. She managed to slide, fall, climb down, hike to Route 52 and flag down a passing motorist. Charles Black fell from the cliff and also was severely injured. Wardens located him about two-and-half hours later. Both were hospitalized for eight days, and Black was arrested upon his release from the hospital.

Evidence produced at the trial showed Black reconnected in 2010 with his former high school girlfriend, who he had not seen in 50 years, and the two were having an affair. Testimony also showed Zahn had inherited $4 million in 2010, and Black had been spending some of that money without her knowledge.

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