A Vermont real estate heir accused of killing his mother and grandfather to inherit millions will stand trial this October.
Nathan Carman, 29, is accused of shooting and killing his grandfather, former Army paratrooper and self-made millionaire John Chakalos, in 2013, Fox News reported. Carman allegedly killed his grandfather in order to collect $550,000 from the family trust fund, which he reportedly spent within three years.
Out of money, Carman took his mother, Linda, out on his boat in 2016, which he intentionally sank in order to kill her and collect $85,000 in insurance money, prosecutors allege.
Carman’s trial is set for October 2 and is expected to last for more than two weeks.
The indictment against Carman was unsealed in May 2022 and accused him of murdering his mother during the boating trip in September 2016 and lying to authorities about the incident afterward. The indictment does not explain how Carman allegedly killed his mother, but it says he purposefully sunk the boat the two were on that day. Carman spent eight days on a life raft after the boat sank before being found by a commercial fishing ship.
In 2016, after the boat sank, Carman told the Associated Press that he tried to find his mother when the ship began to sink. He told the outlet that he heard a “funny noise” coming from the engine compartment, and water started pouring in, sinking the boat in just minutes. He claimed at the time that he saw his mother in the cockpit of the boat and rushed to grab food, flares, and life jackets, but she was gone when he looked back.
“What happened on the boat was a terrible tragedy that I am still trying to process and that I am still trying to come to terms with,” he told the AP at the time.
Suspicions were raised even at the time of the incident, including the death of Carman’s grandfather three years earlier. He told the AP in the same interview that he had nothing to do with his grandfather’s death.
“My grandfather was like a father to me, and I was like a son to him,” Carman said at the time. “He was the closest person in the world to me, and I loved him and he loved me, and I had absolutely nothing to do with his death.”
A search warrant had been issued in 2014 relating to the death of Carman’s grandfather, Chakalos. The warrant, obtained by the AP, explained that Carman was the last person to see his grandfather alive, had purchased a rifle consistent with the one used in the shooting, and that he discarded his hard drive and GPS unit around the time his grandfather died.
Chakalos divvied up his $42 million estate between his four adult daughters, one of whom was Carman’s mother. Carman’s three aunts filed a lawsuit in 2018 in which they accused him of killing his grandfather and possibly his mother in order to gain the money. In the lawsuit, they asked a judge to block Carman from receiving his inheritance.
Carman faces eight criminal charges, including murdering his mother, and seven charges related to his alleged attempts to obtain his inheritance. If convicted of murder, he faces life in prison. He also faces up to 30 years in prison for each fraud charge.