‘She was begging for her life’: Retired schoolteacher who ‘shoved wife off 800-foot cliff’ in $4M inheritance dispute goes to trial
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.
That’s the story presented by prosecutors Tuesday during opening arguments in the trial of Charles Black, 71, who appeared in Knox County Superior Court Tuesday. District Attorney Geoffrey Rushlau argued Charles wanted his wife dead so he could inherit her father’s millions. Yahoo reports that the couple were fighting over spending and that Lisa Black had discovered her husband was in the midst of an online affair.
‘What you’ll hear is evidence of two motives: one, money, and the second, another woman,’ Rushlau told the court.
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 in Camden Hills State Park.
‘She’ll tell you that she was begging for her life, that she was speaking about her two daughters and begging that he not do this,’ Rushlau said.
She survived by landing on a rock ledge just feet from the mountain top. Lisa Black, 55, says she believed Charles was chasing her when he, too, tumbled down the mountain, according to a police report. 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 also asked the court for permission to introduce evidence that he had earlier tried to poison Lisa Black. Calls to Lisa Black and Charles Black were not returned. Police said the couple was hiking on Mount Megunticook when the fall occurred. He told police he fainted, fell forward and hit the back of Lisa Black’s head with his own head, but he had no memory of pushing her off the cliff. They divorced in 2013 after nine years of marriage.
There is a saying that goes “if you can’t, teach” Mr. Black inspired an addition to that line; “if you can’t do that, marry a woman with a 4 million dollar inheritance”.