Share This Page

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

| 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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.