Sheriff: Suspect, kids stayed in house with body after murder

Amanda Kalman, left, was stabbed to death Friday. Police have arrested her husband, Chesley Jones Black Jr., for her murder.
Amanda Kalman, left, was stabbed to death Friday. Police have arrested her husband, Chesley Jones Black Jr., for her murder.

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The 4-year-old daughter of a West Ashley woman who was stabbed to death Thursday witnessed her father kill her mother, police say.

According to a court affidavit, 29-year-old Chesley Jones Black's daughter witnessed him kill her mother, 25-year-old Amanda Kalman at their home on Fife Lane. The daughter told police that her parents were arguing and fighting inside the home when her father stabbed and killed her mother. The couple's 2-year-old daughter was also present.

Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said there were signs of a struggle before the murder occurred. Authorities originally believed the murder happened Friday, but Cannon said Tuesday it appears the killing happened Thursday night and that Black and the children stayed in the house with the body until Friday.

Charleston County's deputy coroner said that  Amanda Kalman died of a stab wound to the neck that severed a major artery.

Sumter County sheriff's deputies arrested Black over the weekend after they found him with his 2-year-old daughter.  Sheriff Cannon said Black dropped his four-year-old daughter off at his wife's sister's house before fleeing Charleston County.

Black told his sister in law he was going to Santee and would return for the 4 year old in 45 minutes, according to Cannon.  Sheriff Cannon also said deputies were called to the home in 2005 and 2009 for domestic violence, but Kalman declined to press charges on both occasions.

"I was the last to see him and he just didn't have any remorse. He just drops his kids off like it was just nothing," said Beverly Holcome, Amanda Kalman's sister. "And then I go and I have to hear from a 4 year old about what her dad's done to my sister and it took me an hour to get to her and I was too late."

Chesley Black was denied bond in a Charleston County courtroom Tuesday morning. He is charged with murder.

"I've had to look at the crime scene, I've had to see her," Holcome said. "I hope he gets what he deserves because he obviously didn't think of the family and the friends that she had, to just walk away from her."

Holcome said when Black came to her house Friday and dropped off the children, she asked him where her sister was.

"He told me she was tied up in the bathroom and I thought maybe she was just going to the bathroom," Holcome said while fighting back tears.

Several family members attended Tuesday's bond hearing. Kalman's funeral will be held Tuesday afternoon.

"It's totally torn us up," said Joyce Gresh, Amanda Kalman's aunt. "All we can think about his how Amanda had love for those little girls and wanted to give them a great life and she was an amazing Mom."

Chesley Black is being held at the Charleston County Detention Center.

"We want to make sure we preserve Amanda's memory," said Don Gresh, Amanda Kalman's uncle. "Amanda was a sweet girl who always had a smile on her face."

Sheriff Cannon says the couple's children are in protective custody with DSS.

Black has a criminal history that dates back to 2000 when he was arrested and convicted of shoplifting. In Jan. 2005, he was convicted of crack cocaine possession and attempted possession of a controlled substance.

Later that year, he was arrested on charges of criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and malicious injury to personal property, but was not charged.  He was also convicted of possession of meth or cocaine base in Nov. 2005.

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