Civil trial involving Nathan Carman set to begin

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Three years after his boat sank and his mother disappeared, a civil trial involving Nathan Carman is set to begin in a Rhode Island courtroom.

Next month will be exactly three years since Carman was rescued off the coast of Martha's Vineyard after he told authorities his small boat, The Chicken Pox, sank during a fishing trip with his mother Linda. Linda is missing and presumed lost at sea.

Carman tried to collect on an insurance policy on the boat, but two insurance companies are refusing to cover the cost, alleging Carman's modifications to the boat caused it to sink.

Law enforcement suspect Carman intentionally sank his boat to get rid of his mother, so he could inherit $7 million from his grandfather's estate.

In Rhode Island, a judge ruled the upcoming trial must only focus on the rejected claim and nothing else, including the unsolved murder of Nathan's grandfather and the disappearance of his mother.

His grandfather, John Chakalos, was murdered in Connecticut in 2013. Nathan is a suspect in his grandfather's murder, too but is not charged with any crimes.

>> New England's Unsolved Podcast: John Chakalos

Some expect Carman will testify in this trial but Boston attorney Brad Bailey says that would be a bad idea.

"If I were his defense attorney I would have him nowhere near that witness stand. You do not want your client in this situation, opening any door or saying anything that could be turned around and used against him in connection with serious criminal charges such as suspicion of murder," said Bailey.

Bailey said even with the judge's order, this trial could still reveal something about what happened to Nathan and his boat, and that could provide fresh information to law enforcement.

"This is a record that will be available to be used and looked at for any time of tells or clues to the larger issues in this case. Which is why Mr. Carman's lawyers have to be incredibly careful," Bailey said.

The bench trial is expected to begin on Tuesday morning.