Charles Black, the Camden man accused of pushing his wife off Maiden Cliff in 2011 is scheduled to face attempted murder charges in December.

Black's trial is slated to begin Monday, Dec. 2 in Knox County Superior Court. However, Black's attorney, Walter McKee of Augusta, filed an appeal in Maine Supreme Judicial Court last November against a ruling that denied the defendant's right to suppress his medical history.

Depending on when a ruling is made, the trial may be delayed, said McKee. Oral  arguments on the appeal are not expected until the fall, he added.

Black was initially charged with aggravated assault and is accused of striking his wife in the head with a rock, dragging her body to the edge of Maiden Cliff and pushing her over while the two were hiking in Camden Hills State Park, according to court documents. In July 2011, he was indicted by the grand jury for six criminal offenses, including attempted murder, arising from the alleged incident.

Black has denied the allegations and told police he had passed out and hit her head with his when he fell, according to the police affidavit.

His wife was injured but managed to climb down the mountain to get help and was hospitalized for several days. The initial aggravated assault charge against her husband came after she filed for a protection from abuse order against Black in which she claimed he tried to kill her.

In an affidavit filed in court by police, the wife said there were several other incidents involving her husband that made her feel as if he had been trying to kill her. According to the affidavit, a couple of weeks prior to the Maiden Cliff incident, Black climbed a ladder to the attic and, while she was at the bottom of the ladder, he fell down on top of her. Black told his wife he passed out, according to the court documents.

The wife also told a detective she had inherited $4 million when her father died and that Black had been taking her money without her permission, according to the affidavit. She also told the detective that her husband had contacted an old girlfriend in Arizona and the two had been having an online affair. She also told police that the two had been having marital problems and had been to counseling.

In November, McKee argued the prosecution obtained the medical records illegally of his client. Justice Jeffrey Hjelm denied McKee's motion to dismiss and to suppress Black's criminal charges.

In March 2012, the prosecution sought and obtained a search warrant for all medical records from the week-long hospitalization of the defendant at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, when he was treated for injuries he reportedly sustained during the episode, Hjelm wrote.

The state obtained the records and produced copies for the defense as discovery.

McKee then moved to dismiss the pending charges, or alternatively, to suppress that evidence owing to the state’s acquisition of the medical records. He contended the state obtained the protected records through an improper procedure and the warrant application did not support probable cause.

For the restriction pertaining to his review, Hjelm pointed out that during a hearing in September, the prosecutor said the only person in his office who may have reviewed the records is a prosecutorial assistant. None of the prosecutors have read the medical records, Hjelm was told.

“If and when the prosecutor in the case reads the medical records, then the injury alleged by the defendant will result and cannot be reversed,” Hjelm wrote.

Hjelm ordered that the prosecution was to refrain from reading the medical evidence for 10 days from the date of the order, Oct. 24.

A decision has yet to be made in the Maine Supreme Court.

Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at