Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ex-Shawnee Mission East teacher accused of smashing a rock into his wife's head, pushing her off a cliff (updated)

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 9:14 AM

click to enlarge Charles "Reed" Black allegedly made two attempts on his wife's life while hiking.
  • Charles "Reed" Black allegedly made two attempts on his wife's life while hiking.

UPDATE: Lisa Zahn Crooks Black, the woman accusing her husband of hitting her in the head with a rock and pushing her off a cliff, is now claiming her husband, ex-Shawnee Mission East teacher Charles "Reed" Black, was having an online affair and stealing from a $4 million inheritance that her father left her, according to a report in the Bangor Daily News. Read the update after the jump ...

Original Story (April 18):
You have to be a really forgiving person to stay with someone you think tried to kill you before. For me, that's a deal breaker. Apparently, it wasn't for a former Johnson County teacher, and it could have gotten her killed again.



Retired Shawnee Mission East High School teacher Charles Reed Black is accused of repeatedly smashing a rock into the head of his wife, Lisa Zahn Crooks Black, and then pushing her off a cliff in Maine's Camden Hills State Park on April 7, according to the Star. Both were seriously hurt in a fall.

Lisa Black was an award-winning teacher at Black Bob Elementary School in the Olathe School District, the Star reported. The couple married in 2004, and both are retired. They moved to Camden, Maine, about a year ago.

In a protection-from-abuse order filed last week, Lisa Black wrote that after her husband pushed her off Maiden's Cliff, "he then pursued me down the hill as I tried to escape and seek help." But he fell and was seriously injured. Lisa Black was able to flag down a passing motorist and call police.

Lisa Black added that she believed this was the second attempt her husband had made on her life while hiking. There's no further explanation of this, but once would be good enough for me. I wouldn't be hiking -- or married to the guy -- after attempt No. 1.

Charles Reed Black, 68, is charged with aggravated assault and not realizing that divorce is easier than prison time.

UPDATE: Citing a protection order filed by Lisa Black, the Bangor Daily News reported that Charles Reed Black was allegedly having an online affair with an ex-girlfriend. Lisa Black also alleged that her husband had been stealing from a $4 million inheritance left to her after her father's death.

According to Lisa Black, this wasn't the first attempt her husband had made on her life (via the Bangor Daily News):

Lisa Black felt "he has been trying to kill her," stated the police

report. "A couple of weeks ago Charles had climbed a ladder to the

attic. Lisa was standing at the bottom of the ladder when Charles fell

down on top of her. Charles told her that he passed out."

Additionally, the couple had climbed Mount Battie -- which, like Mount

Megunticook, is in Camden Hills State Park -- and Lisa Black told police

Charles came up behind her and hit her when she was close to the edge of

that mountain. He hit her hard enough for her to fall to the ground.

Charles Black told his wife he had passed out in that instance too.


In an interview with police, Charles Black told police that he remembered hiking with his wife, putting rocks in his backpack and falling down the mountain. However, he didn't recall hitting his wife "or throwing her off the side of the mountain" and "he did not know why he would do this."

In fact, Charles Black told police that his wife may have been mad at him for communicating online with an old friend, but the couple had been to marriage counseling, the Star reported. "Charles feels that everything seems to be going well in their marriage

at this time," a police report said.

Prosecutors could add an attempted murder charge to Charles Black's aggravated assault charge, the Bangor Daily News reported. Right now, Charles Black is facing up to 10 years in prison. His next court date is May 25, and he's been ordered to stay in Maine if he posts bond.


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