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Retired teacher accused of pushing wife over cliff goes on trial; she survived

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By The Associated Press
Sunday, July 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

CAMDEN, Maine — Charles and Lisa Black moved to Maine after careers as teachers in Kansas, pursuing an idyllic retirement that prosecutors say was destroyed by arguments over money and infidelity before both plummeted off a cliff.

Prosecutors say 71-year-old Charles Black hit his wife on the head with a rock before pushing her off the 800-foot Maiden Cliff in April 2011 in Camden Hills State Park. Lisa Black, 55, says she believed Charles was chasing her when he, too, tumbled down the mountain, according to a police report.

His trial is set to begin on Monday in Rockland with jury selection.

Law enforcement officials have said Lisa Black received a $4 million inheritance from her father, and she and Charles Black had a dispute over how he spent some of the money without her permission. Lisa has also accused Charles Black of having an online affair.

Charles Black now lives in Salt Lake City and faces numerous charges, including attempted murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The prosecution has asked the court for permission to introduce evidence that he had earlier tried to poison Lisa Black.

Black's attorney, Walter McKee, attempted to have the charges dismissed over the way prosecutors obtained hundreds of pages of Black's medical records.

Lisa Black fell a short distance down the mountain, stood up and ran to seek help. Charles Black also fell down the mountain — a police report said Lisa Black believed he was chasing her — and both suffered serious injuries.

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