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A man found floating on a raft off New England after his boat sank in 2016 has been accused of killing his mother at sea to inherit the family property.
The eight-count indictment released by federal court in Burlington, Vermont, also alleges that Nathan Carman shot and killed his mother, John Chakalos, at his home in Windsor, Connecticut, in 2013 as part of an attempt to defraud insurance companies, but he was found guilty not charged with murder.
Carman was found in a rubber dinghy eight days after leaving a Rhode Island marina to go fishing with his mother, Linda Carman, who was never found.
Carman, 28, of Vernon, Vermont, was arrested Tuesday. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Rutland, Vermont on Wednesday. His attorney did not respond to the call for comment.
Nathan Carman charged with murdering mother at sea in 2016 https://t.co/a0NAbR0va9
— WBZ | CBS Boston News (@wbz) May 10, 2022
William Michael, attorney for Carman’s mother’s sisters, said Tuesday the family had no immediate comment.
The indictment, released May 2 but released after Carman’s arrest, outlines what prosecutors believed was a plan to defraud Chakalos’ estate.
“As a central part of the plan, Nathan Carman killed John Chakalos and Linda Carman,” prosecutors said.
Authorities say in the indictment that on November 11, 2013, Carman used his New Hampshire driver’s license to purchase a gun, which he used to shoot Chakalos dead while he slept on December 20, 2013.
After Chakalos’ death, Carman received $550,000 from multiple accounts. He moved to Vermont in 2014 where he was unemployed and low on money as of the fall of 2016.
In September 2016, Carman organized a fishing trip with his mother on his boat called “Chicken Pox”.
“Nathan Carman planned to kill his mother on the trip,” prosecutors said. “He also planned how he would report the sinking of the Chicken Pox and his mother’s disappearance at sea as accidents.”
Seven of the eight charges relate to fraudulent attempts to obtain money from his grandfather’s real estate or insurance companies, prosecutors say.
The other Earl claims Carman killed his mother. If convicted of murder, he faces life imprisonment.
In 2019, a federal judge in Rhode Island ruled that Carman contributed to the sinking of the boat.
United States District Judge John McConnell has issued a written ruling in favor of an insurance company that refused to pay an $85,000 claim against Carman for the loss of their 31-foot fishing boat.
Carman denied doing anything to intentionally unseaworthy the boat. He told the Coast Guard that as the boat was rapidly filling with water, he swam to the life raft and called his mother, but never saw her again.
Among other things, the judge found that Carman had improperly repaired the boat shortly before the fishing trip with his mother. Witnesses said he removed two stabilizer tabs from the stern near the ship’s waterline, leaving holes that he tried to seal with an epoxy stick.
He was found eight days after the boat disappeared by the crew of a freighter on the raft off Martha’s Vineyard, an island in Massachusetts.
Chakalos, a real estate developer, left nearly $29 million worth of property to be divided among his four daughters. Carman is lined up for a net worth of around $7 million as his mother’s sole heir.
Chakalos’ three surviving daughters are suing Carman in the New Hampshire probate court, trying to prevent him from receiving money from Chakalos’ estate. A judge dismissed the case in 2019, saying Chakalos was not a resident of New Hampshire. The probate case was refiled in Connecticut, where it remains pending.
This story has been corrected to show that Carman is scheduled to appear in court in Rutland, not Burlington, on Wednesday.
AP reporters Kathy McCormack in Concord, New Hampshire, Lisa Rathke in Montpelier, Vermont, and Dave Collins in Hartford, Connecticut contributed to this report.