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Nathan Carman charged with killing his mother at sea in 2016

Family battles over $7M inheritance
Family battles over $7 million inheritance in court 02:27

A Vermont man has been accused of killing his mother, who has been missing since a boat the two were on sank in 2016, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday. Nathan Carman has also been accused by family members of shooting and killing his wealthy grandfather in 2013.

Carman, 28, is facing eight charges in connection to "the 2016 murder of his mother, Linda Carman, on the high seas, and related frauds to obtain family and insurance funds," the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Vermont alleges.

His grandfather, John Chakalos, was shot and killed at his Windsor, Connecticut, home nearly a decade ago. Then, in 2016, Carman allegedly murdered his mother, Linda Carman, and sank the boat they were on off the coast of Rhode Island, the attorney's office said. Her body was never found.

Missing Boaters Lawsuit
Nathan Carman speaks at a court hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. Cloe Poisson / AP

A fishing boat found Carman on a life raft more than a week later. 

In an interview with The Associated Press at the time, Carman said he did everything he could to find his mother, 54-year-old Linda Carman, of Middletown, Connecticut, as their boat went down. Carman said that their boat sank in a matter of minutes after he heard a "funny noise" in the engine compartment and saw water pouring in.

He said he saw his mother in the cockpit, and grabbed three bags containing food, flares and life jackets. But when he looked back, his mother was no longer there, he said.

"What happened on the boat was a terrible tragedy that I am still trying to process and that I am still trying to come to terms with," he said.

In the same interview, he said he was not involved in his grandfather's death.

"My grandfather was like a father to me, and I was like a son to him," Carman said. "He was the closest person in the world to me, and I loved him and he loved me, and I had absolutely nothing to do with his death."

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A 2014 search warrant obtained by the AP said that Carman was the last person known to have seen Chakalos alive; that Carman had bought a rifle consistent with the one used in the crime; and that he discarded his hard drive and GPS unit used around the time of the shooting.

Police submitted an arrest warrant to a prosecutor, but it was returned unsigned with a request for more information. He was never arrested for his grandfather's death.

In his will, Chakalos left an estate worth more than $42 million to his four adult daughters, including Carman's mother.

Carman's aunts filed a lawsuit in 2018, accusing him of killing his grandfather and possibly his mother and asking a judge to block Carman from his inheritance. 

According to the indictment, Carman killed his two family members as part of "a scheme to obtain money and property" from his grandfather's estate and other family trusts. He also allegedly attempted to "defraud the company that insured his fishing boat." 

If he's found guilty, Carman faces mandatory life in prison, while the fraud charges carry a maximum of 30 years in prison per charge.

Carman will be arraigned on Wednesday, ane will be represented by the Office of the Federal Public Defender, the attorney's office said.

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