Vermont Man Kills His Mother Over Inheritance Issues

Federal authorities said Thursday that the Vermont man accused of killing his mother off the coast of New England so he could receive millions of dollars has died in jail while waiting for his trial.

Nathan Carman, who was 29 then, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and fraud charges in the death of his mother, Linda Carman, last year. His trial was set to start in October.

An eight-count indictment says that Carman shot and killed his wealthy grandfather John Chakalos while sleeping in 2013 to get money and property from his grandpa’s estate. But Carman is not charged with killing his grandpa in the indictment and has always denied having anything to do with either death.

It wasn’t clear right away what had killed Carman. He was the only person in a county jail cell in New Hampshire when guards found him dead at about 2:30 a.m., said Doug Losue, who oversees the Cheshire Corrections Department, which runs the facility. Losue said police in Keene, close to the Vermont state line, were looking into the death.

The U.S. Marshals Service stated that Carman died Thursday while in their custody. They also said they do not own or run their jails but instead work with state and local governments to house about 65% of their prisoners.

Martin Minnella, one of his lawyers, said Carman seemed “in good spirits” when he talked to his defence team on Wednesday.

β€œWe were meeting with some experts today over Zoom at 12 o’clock. We were prepared to start picking a jury on Oct. 10 and were confident we would win,” Minnella said. β€œI’m heartbroken because I wanted him to have his day in court.”

Carman left a note for his lawyers, but as of Thursday afternoon, Carman’s other lawyer, David Sullivan, didn’t know what it said. They found out about the note from the federal officials.

Prosecutors say that when Carman’s mother and grandfather died, he could get Linda Carman’s share of her father’s estate, which was about $7 million. This inheritance is still in family court in Connecticut because Carman’s three aunts tried to stop him from getting any money from their uncle’s estate.

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In a statement released Thursday, Chakalos’ three surviving daughters, who are Carman’s aunts, said they were “deeply saddened” to hear about his death and asked for privacy “while we process this shocking news and its impact on the tragic events of the last few years.”

In September 2016, Carman took his mother, who lived in Middletown, Connecticut, fishing. Prosecutors say that during the trip, he planned to kill her and say that his boat sank and his mother went missing.

He was found eight days after he and his mother left a Rhode Island port in an inflatable raft. His mother’s body was never found. Prosecutors say he changed the boat so it would sink more quickly.

Carman said that wasn’t true. Minnella and Sullivan noted that Carman was never charged with killing his grandpa, which was one of the things that was said in the indictment.

β€œThe whole situation would have come out in court,” Minnella said Thursday. β€œThis young man would have been vindicated.”

Prosecutors say the inheritance scam continued for almost a decade and started when Carman bought a gun in New Hampshire. On Dec. 20, 2013, he is said to have used that gun to kill Chakalos in the man’s home in Windsor, Connecticut. Prosecutors say that Carman threw away the hard drive from his computer and the GPS unit from his truck.

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Police say that Carman was the last person to see his grandpa alive. They also say that Carman owned a semi-automatic rifle like the one used to kill Chakalos, but the gun has gone missing. In 2014, Windsor police wrote an arrest warrant for Carman, charging him with murder in the death of his grandpa. However, a state prosecutor refused to sign the contract and asked for more information. Before the federal conviction, no one was charged with a crime.

In court papers filed in 2018, Carman said there was more substantial proof that a woman he called his grandfather’s “mistress” was involved in the murder. Because Chakalos was wealthy, Carman said, the murder could have been a robbery. Carman got $550,000 from two bank accounts his grandfather had set up for him, which Chakalos had made him the beneficiary of when he died. In 2014, he moved from Bloomfield, Connecticut, to Vernon, Vermont, where he now lives.

Prosecutors said he didn’t have much money in the fall of 2016 because he hadn’t had a job for a long time. They said that’s when he planned the fishing trip with his mother.

In 2017, investigators started watching a lawsuit brought in federal court in Providence, Rhode Island, between Carman and his insurance company over a rejected $85,000 claim for losing his boat, the “Chicken Pox.”

Investigators who are still working and investigators who used to work say that the insurance case brought together all the information and may have sparked a new effort to charge Carman.

The lawyers for the insurance put together a case against Carman, accusing him of planning both killings and covering them up. They did this by using information from police investigations and knowledge they got themselves. Carman’s insurance company turned down his claim, and a judge agreed.

Neon Martin

Neon Martin is a talented content writer with a passion for crafting engaging, informative articles on a wide range of topics. With a keen eye for detail and a love of language, Neon has honed their writing skills over several years of experience in the field.Neon's work can be found on, where they contribute insightful articles that explore the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. Whether delving into local events, highlighting community leaders, or sharing tips on living a healthy and fulfilling life, Neon's writing always captivates and informs.

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