Black barred from staying in Camden during trial

By Juliette Laaka | Jun 24, 2014
Photo by: File photo Charles Black.

Rockland — The man accused of attempting to kill his former wife by striking her in the head with a rock and pushing her off Maiden Cliff will not be allowed to stay in Camden during his two-week trial scheduled for July.

A motion to amend Charles R. Black's bail to allow him to stay in Camden with a friend was denied June 24 by Justice Jeffrey Hjelm in Knox County Superior Court, said Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald, who is the prosecuting the case.

The victim lives in Camden, and Black's bail conditions bar him from being in Camden. They divorced in 2012.

Black, formerly of Camden and now of Utah, faces charges including attempted murder for an attack on his then-wife while the two were hiking.

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.

The victim 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 victim 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.

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

In April, the Maine Supreme Court rejected the defendant's appeal to include his medical records at trial.

Black filed an appeal arguing the state did not follow proper procedures to obtain his medical records from Eastern Maine Medical Center. The appeal came after Superior Court Justice Jeffrey Hjelm denied his motion to suppress his medical records.

Black's attorney, Walter McKee of Augusta, filed the appeal in November 2012, contesting a ruling that denied the defendant's right to suppress his medical history. Black was hospitalized and more than 500 pages of medical records were seized in a search warrant, which is the basis for the appeal.

In its April 8 decision, the Maine Supreme Court noted Black has not yet stood trial or been convicted of the charges against him. The court ruled that the trial should not be stalled to deal with a premature appeal, which could raise concerns about rights to a speedy trial and double jeopardy.

If Black is convicted and his medical records were used against him, he will have an opportunity to file an appeal at that time, the court ruled.

Jury selection is scheduled for July 14.

Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at

Comments (1)
Posted by: Patricia Pendleton | Jun 24, 2014 20:51

I would suggest that as Walter McKee has so vigorously fought to keep this man,  who is charged with trying to kill his wife, on the street, that Mr. McKee  house him at his home with his family until Mr. Black goes to trial. That would seem to me to be a reasonable suggestion. They could commute back and forth and save expenses.


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