Transcript for Retired School Teacher on Trial for Allegedly Trying to Kill His Wife
Mara schiavocampo has the story. Reporter: Attempted murder charges and several counts of assault and the motive here was money after Lisa black inherited millions from her father. In a Maine courtroom this morning the case against retired social studies teacher Charles black is just getting under way. Tuesday black watched emotionless as prosecutors laid out their case against him claiming the 71-year-old tried to kill his now ex-wife Lisa black by hitting her in the head with a rock and pushing her off an 800-foot cliff. 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. Reporter: In opening arguments the district attorney says Charles black he wanted his then wife dead because she recently inherited millions from her father and the two fought about money and Lisa discovered he was having an online affair. What you'll hear is evidence of two motives, one, money and a second, another woman. Reporter: According to court documents the couple went for a picnic and a hike in April 2011 when Lisa black says she was hit on the head several times and that Charles threw her over the edge of the mountain. Officials say she survived only by landing on a rock ledge a few feet from the top. In an unusual twist, Lisa black reported that Charles black fell just moments later. Lisa black told police she thought her husband was chasing her down the mountain when he fell. And in court documents she says she felt as if he had been trying to kill her in the weeks prior. Falling on her from the top of a ladder and hitting her on the head during a different hike. But in court Charles black's defense attorney says the story just doesn't add up because there's to physical evidence and Charles black had no reason to kill his wife. What you have to conclude is it just didn't happen the way that Lisa black says at all. Reporter: Now, perhaps unsurprisingly the couple has since divorced. If convicted Charles black faces up to 30 years in prison on the attempted murder charge alone. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges. That trial is expected to take two weeks and we are expected to hear from Lisa herself as she will testify. Thanks very much. Let's talk to Dan Abrams about this. She's going to testify. The ex-wife is going to testify. That's critical in oh, absolutely. Look, this is the ultimate he said/she said, right? She is saying that she is knocked in the head with a rock in the back of her head, that she's then dragged to the edge of the cliff and he then pushes her over. He is saying that didn't happen. I didn't try and kill her. Now, he claims he doesn't remember exactly what happened because he too fell down the cliff later but this is going to be a fascinating case to hear Lisa black's testimony and it is all going to come down do the jurors believe her, that's what happened. What could tip the balance in her favor a year later they're still together but there's some evidence that he might have tried to poison her. The question is, is the judge going to allow it. Wasn't mentioned in opening statements but the prosecution is trying to introduce evidence that there was a conversation overheard where he was talking about trying to kill her. If that comes in, that would be, I think, devastating testimony against him because, remember, you need -- whatever the prosecution can do to back up her story becomes crucial. They say they've got scientific evidence and forensic evidence from the top of the cliff. For example, about where the blood was, et cetera. But anything else they can get to support that account becomes crucial because it's all about her testimony. Anything that can support her testimony becomes absolutely essential. His too. Do you think he testifies? I don't think so. You know I've been thinking -- last night when I was asked, I wasn't sure. After Reading the entirety of the logs of the opening statement I do not think he'll testify and relien 0 the statements he told police at the time because, again, he says he doesn't remember what happened and that's not a good thing to tell a jury, right -- You don't want to be saying I don't remember. So I would say better to keep him off the stand and just challenge her credibility. Okay, Dan Abrams, thanks very much.
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