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.