• Carman, aunts square off in Connecticut court over trust money

    By: Robert Goulston

    Updated:

    HARTFORD, Conn. - The man at the center of a murder investigation of his grandfather and the disappearance of his mother at sea was in a Connecticut courtroom with his family Tuesday. 

    Nathan Carman's aunt is trying to stop him from tapping a family trust to help pay for his legal defense in a New Hampshire case she and her sisters have filed against him to block him from getting any inheritance money.  

    Nathan Carman walked into probate court not saying a word. He is asking a probate court to remove his aunt as the executor of a family trust in Connecticut, so he can obtain $1,500 from it for legal expenses.

    "I'm between a rock and a hard place in that, what am I supposed to do?” he said to the court. 

    Carman told the judge he needs the money to defend himself in a civil case the same aunt, Valerie Santilli, is pursuing in New Hampshire to block him from any inheritance money from his grandfather's will. 

    MORE: New England's Unsolved Podcast: John Chakalos

    In 2011, Carman’s grandfather, John Chakalos, created a trust for him and appointed Santilli as the trustee. The family claims Carman shot his grandfather in 2013 in Connecticut and then killed his mother at sea in 2016 so he could collect her share of the $44 million Chakalos estate.  

    “I have no sympathy for a serial killer and I never will have sympathy,” Santilli’s attorney, Dan Small, told the court Tuesday.

    Carman told the Connecticut probate judge he refuses to hand over his financial information to access the family trust money because he's worried the information would be used in the New Hampshire case.

    He's asking for the court to order a special purpose trustee to take the information but keep it confidential.  

    “The family is obviously very upset at this process. But they are looking for justice,” Small said. “The goal is not whether he gets money for an attorney. The goal is justice.”

    The case now has a new timeline with a new hearing scheduled for early September.

    MORE: Court docs: N.H. gun store confirms Nathan Carman purchased .308 rifle

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