Charles March's confession made public
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - In a two-hour interview with a detective, Charles March insisted repeatedly that Kathy Goble begged him to kill her and he complied.
March, 60, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder Wednesday for the death of Goble, his co-worker and friend. The dismembered body of Goble was unearthed in his yard in April, two years after she mysteriously disappeared.
A transcript of the statement he gave a detective last April, as Goble's body was unearthed from his yard, was added to the public record of the case on Thursday.
In that statement he said, "She just laid on the bed and told me to strangle her. I've never done anything. . . . I can't believe I did that. And she told me, you know, do what I wanted with the body.
"I couldn't carry her body so . . . God I feel evil about this, I dismembered her and buried her," he said.
Prosecutor Mark Plants doesn't put much stock in March's allegations about Goble.
"People who are facing criminal charges will mitigate their actions as much as possible," Plants said. "There is no evidence any of that is true. It's a defendant trying to explain away the evidence. It doesn't change the fact of what he did."
Billy Herrald, a close friend of Goble's sons who has been acting as the family spokesman, said, "From what I understand, his story has not been consistent. Only he knows why he would say that she asked him to do something like this to her, but I believe it's completely absurd.
"I know she would never ask anyone to do something like that to her no matter what the reason."
Detective Sean Snuffer went to Kelley's Mens Shop on April 25 as other authorities gathered at March's Chesapeake mobile home after his son uncovered a skull. March agreed to come in for questioning but was not told of the gruesome events unfolding at his house.
At first, March talked of Goble as "real friendly." He said they got together for lunch once and a few times they bumped into each other in the evening and went somewhere to talk or dance. He said they had sex twice.
He told the detective he had no idea what had happened to her.
"I've heard everything from she just got tired of it and packed up and took off to she's buried somewhere in the mountains," March said.
But shortly into the interview, Snuffer told March, "OK. Charlie, right now we're up at your house. We're executing some search warrants. Is there something you want to tell me, Charlie?"
After some prompting, March confessed.
March told Snuffer Goble called him that night and asked to meet at the Nitro Moose lodge. Then he followed her down Interstate 64 and she pulled off near the Scary Creek exit.
He said she placed a rag in the driver's side window and then got in his car and directed him to drive to his house. He said she had first mentioned that she wanted him to kill her about a week before.
"I want you to do what we were talking about," March said Goble told him. "You do it or I'm gonna do it myself and I just don't want to commit suicide."
Snuffer expressed disbelief at March's story, telling him it didn't make sense and questioning why Goble wanted to die.
"I never loved her," he said. "But she was a good friend and I think that's why I did. . . . She's one of the best friends I ever had and to see her sit there and beg. You don't expect anybody to ever beg you to kill them, you know?"
March said he believed Goble was involved with other men and may have been stealing from Kelley's. And he said she was ashamed and tired of all that.
But he said she didn't really tell him why she wanted to die.
Kristi Walker, vice president of Kelley's, said Goble was never suspected of any theft there.
"When she disappeared, she was a valued employee; we loved having her here, and she was not in trouble of any kind," Walker said. She added that March and Goble were not involved in a relationship.
In the interview, Snuffer continued to doubt March and told him so. He asked him over and over if the killing occurred out of anger or a sexual liaison gone wrong. But March denied that.
But March did say the two had sex before he killed her. He was kneeling on her chest when he killed her, he said.
March said he kept the body in a spare room that night and the next day put her in the bathtub and cut her up. Snuffer asked March to tell in graphic detail about dismembering the body, and March did.
Shortly after that, Snuffer asked March to hand over a pocketknife he said he had. March confessed he actually had two and handed them over.
Then he asked him, "Charlie, is there anybody else that you've done this to?"
"No . . . no, this is it," he responded. "God no, this is it. This is it. I can't believe I done it this time. Just . . . no, this is it."
Snuffer gave March some names - Melanie Matheny. Dickie Riser.
But March said no.
Throughout the interview, March expressed sadness about his children and grandchildren.
"They're going to think I'm probably the most evil person they'll meet in their life," he said. "I don't want my family to ever see me again. I have grandchildren that's going to hate me forever."
He named his grandchildren and said, "I just hope they're all young enough they'll forget me. Just hope they'll forget Granddad."
March said he went to work each day after the killing and never told anyone what he had done. But the burden of it weighed on him, he said. He had trouble sleeping and breathing.
"Evil, evil, I'm evil," he said of himself. He referred to himself as an "asshole" and a "lowlife" and "one of the biggest idiots in the world."
"I deserve everything I get," he said. "I deserve everything I get."
March will be sentenced next month.