A New England man, who is accused of killing his mother while out at sea during a fishing trip in 2016 and shooting his grandfather to death in his Connecticut home in 2013 in an attempt to reap millions of dollars in his family’s insurance and inheritance funds, was ordered to be held without bail in U.S. District Court on Tuesday pending his trial.
Nathan Carman, 28, of Vernon, Vermont, faces an eight-count murder indictment in connection with the murder of his mother, Linda Carman, while out to sea in 2016 and the 2013 fatal shooting of his grandfather, John Chakalos, at Chakalos’s home in Windsor, Connecticut, Vermont U.S. Attorney’s Office officials stated.
Authorities allege that both killings were part of a scheme to obtain money and property from the estate of John Chakalos and related family trusts. The indictment also alleges that Carman attempted to defraud the company that insured his fishing boat.
Carman was questioned by multiple authorities at the Boston U.S. Coast Guard station following the 2016 incident at sea. Officials said he provided dubious answers concerning how he and Linda Carman became separated during the ship’s sinking, saying she simply disappeared from his sight.
The Hartford Courant said Carman was slated to earn $7 million from his grandfather’s death alone.
In court on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford denied Carman’s request to be released, according to the Associated Press. The judge said Nathan Carman is a flight risk and posed a potential danger due to the seriousness of the charges, lack of strong family, employment or community connections “and his involvement with firearms and the ongoing feud with his family” over his late grandfather’s inheritance.
Prosecutors claimed that Carman is mentally unstable and should not be released — Carman’s been in custody since he was first arrested on the murder charges in May. The Vermont man’s two aunts, sisters to his mother Linda, also opposed his release, the Boston Globe reported. In a letter to prosecutors filed in court last week, the family members wrote that they were “very concerned that Nathan has nothing to lose if he is allowed out of jail at this time and will seek retribution against the family.”
Judge Crawford said the evidence regarding the loss of his mother at sea, and “the acrimonious dispute” with relatives over the inheritance, as well as his purchase of AR-15 type weapons “are evidence that this is a volatile situation.”
“We strongly support the actions of the US Attorney’s Office to have Nathan remain in custody as we firmly believe, knowing Nathan better than anyone, that he is both a danger to this family and a flight risk,” Carman’s aunts, Elaine Chakalos and Charlene Gallagher, wrote in a letter to the court according to the Boston Globe.
In September 2016, a Chinese freighter rescued Carman from a life raft after his fishing vessel sunk with his mother aboard 100 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. The Vermont man was floating at sea for eight days.
Investigators allege that Carman purposely sank his boat to kill his mother in an attempt to claim both life and boat insurance funds.
Carman was supposed to earn an insurance payment of $85,000 from the National Liability & Fire Insurance Co. and the Boat Owners Association. Lawyers from the insurance companies contested the insurance payments after noticing “striking” parallels between his mother’s death and his grandfather’s killing.
If convicted of murder, Carman faces mandatory life imprisonment.