VERNON, Vt. — A Vermont man was arrested Tuesday and charged with his mother’s 2016 murder off the coast of Rhode Island.
Nathan Carman, 28, of Vernon, Vt., faces eight counts, including murder on the high seas and fraud related to inheritance and insurance, in connection with the death of his mother Linda Carman.
According to the indictment, Carman is also accused of the deadly 2013 shooting of his grandfather, John Chakalos.
The indictment alleges Carman bought a Sig Sauer rifle at a gun store in Hookset, N.H. in November 2013. More than a month later, on Dec. 20, Carman shot Chakalos twice as he slept in his Windsor, Conn. home, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors further allege that Carman threw out his computer hard drive and GPS from his truck the night of the murder, preventing investigators from reviewing that data in an effort to cover up the crime.
Carman received approximately $550,000 after Chakalos’s murder and moved to Vermont, where he remained largely unemployed and spent most of the money between 2014 and 2016, the indictment states.
By the fall of 2016, money was low, and Carman planned a fishing trip with his mother.
Prosecutors say before the trip, Carman altered his boat in several ways, including removing two forward bulkheads and trim tabs from the transom of the hull. He did this to stage the sinking of his boat, the Chicken Pox, and his mother’s disappearance at sea as accidents, according to the indictment.
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Carman was rescued off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and told authorities his small boat sank during a trip with his mother. Linda Carman is missing and presumed lost at sea.
Both murders are believed to be part of a scheme to receive money and property from Chakalos’s estate and related family trusts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
The executor of the estate filed an action in New Hampshire Probate Court in 2017 claiming that Carman was responsible for the murders and seeking to block him from benefitting from both deaths. During litigation, Carman “maintained his false narratives, misrepresenting what happened to his grandfather, what happened to his mother, and what occurred on the Chicken Pox,” according to the indictment.
Carman is also accused of trying to defraud the company that insured his fishing boat. He later tried to collect on an insurance policy on the boat, but two insurance companies refused to cover the cost, claiming Carman’s modifications caused the boat to sink.
If convicted of murder on the high seas, Carman faces mandatory life imprisonment, according to the U.S. Attorney.
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