Man killed mother at sea to inherit family estate, US says

A Vermont man lured his mother on a fishing trip off Rhode Island in 2016, killed her and sank the boat in a bid to inherit her family’s estate, prosecutors said Tuesday. federal.

An unsealed indictment in federal court in Burlington, Vermont on Tuesday charges Nathan Carman, 28, of Vernon, Vermont, with murdering his mother, Linda Carman, while sailing in September 2016 and of having made false reports to the authorities about what had happened. happened on the high seas.

Federal prosecutors won’t say how they believe Mr. Carman killed his mother, but they say his boat, named Chicken Pox, was deliberately sunk. Mr Carman spent eight days adrift at sea before the crew of a commercial vessel, the Orient Lucky, found him floating on a life raft.

In 2013, as part of another part of his plan, Mr Carman grabbed his Sig Sauer rifle and shot and killed his grandfather, John Chakalos, who became wealthy building and renting care homes and other real estate projects, in Windsor, Connecticut, the indictment states. Mr. Carman was not charged with the murder, according to the indictment.

“As a central part of this scheme, Nathan Carman murdered John Chakalos and Linda Carman,” the indictment reads. “He concocted cover stories to conceal his involvement in these murders.”

The indictment does not specify how much money Mr. Carman could have inherited. The Associated Press reported that as his mother’s sole heir, he would have received $7 million.

One of eight charges Mr. Carman faces charges him with the murder of his mother, who had a “strained relationship” with her son, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office for Vermont said. The other seven relate to Mr. Carman’s attempts to obtain money from Mr. Chakalos’ estate, which was worth tens of millions of dollars, or from insurance companies.

Mr. Carman was arrested on Tuesday and could not be reached for comment. The Vermont District Federal Public Defender’s Office, which represents Mr. Carman, did not respond to a phone call seeking comment on Tuesday. He is to be arraigned on Wednesday.

William Michael, a lawyer for Ms Carman’s three sisters, who sued Mr Carman in 2018 to stop him inheriting the money and accused him of killing their father and sister, did not immediately responded to a phone call seeking comment on Tuesday. Their trial is still ongoing, according to the Associated Press.

Suspicions about Ms. Carman’s death first arose in September 2016 when the Coast Guard found Mr. Carman on an inflatable life raft without his mother. His body has never been found.

They had gone on a fishing trip after 11 p.m. on September 17, 2016 to spend time together on Mr. Carman’s boat. It was the “primary way Ms. Carman interacted with her son,” the indictment states.

By then, Mr. Chakalos had been dead for three years and Mr. Carman had already received $550,000 as a result. The money was mostly spent in the fall of 2016 because he had been unemployed for long periods, the indictment says.

Federal prosecutors say Mr. Carman planned and prepared for his mother’s murder in several ways: He removed the trim tabs — metal plates that help stabilize performance — from the boat and removed his computer from his home to prevent officials to review it. while he was away.

He also planned to report the sinking of the Chicken Pox and the disappearance of Ms Carman as ‘accidents’, the indictment says.

Ms. Carman had “believed she would return home at noon the next day, as evidenced by the fleet plan she left with friends”, the indictment states.

Mr Carman told The Associated Press in 2016 that “what happened on the boat was a terrible tragedy that I am still trying to process and still trying to come to terms with”.

He added that he didn’t know “what to make of suspicious people” and that he had “enough to deal with”.

The indictment also states that Mr. Carman attempted to defraud the company that was insuring his fishing boat.

The U.S. attorney’s office did not say why their investigation took years and did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Tuesday.

In 2019, a federal judge in Rhode Island ruled that Mr. Carman contributed to the shipwreck of chickenpox, according to The Providence Journal.

If convicted of the murder charge, Mr. Carman faces life in prison.

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