A 28-year-old Vermont man who was rescued from a raft off the coast of New England in 2016 after his boat sank pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he killed his mother at sea.
Nathan Carman was arraigned in federal court in Rutland on multiple fraud charges and a first-degree murder charge in the death of Linda Carman. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
Authorities say Carman also killed his grandfather, John Chakalos, at his home in Windsor, Connecticut, in 2013 as part of a scheme to obtain money and property from his grandfather’s estate, although he was not charged with that killing.
“As a central part of the scheme, Nathan Carman murdered John Chakalos and Linda Carman,” the indictment reads.
Carman was found in an inflatable raft eight days after leaving a Rhode Island marina to go fishing with his mother, who was never found. Prosecutors allege Carman altered the boat to make it more likely to sink that day.
“For an individual who would kill his own family members, nothing is off the table,” prosecutors wrote.
Police have said Carman was the last person to see his grandfather alive and owned a semi-automatic rifle similar to the one used to kill Chakalos — but the firearm disappeared.
After his grandfather’s death, Carman received $550,000 from two bank accounts. He was unemployed much of the time and by the fall of 2016, was low on funds, prosecutors said.
In September 2016, Carman arranged to go on a fishing trip with his mother on his boat named the “Chicken Pox.”
“Nathan Carman planned to kill his mother on the trip,” the indictment reads. “He also planned how he would report the sinking of the ‘Chicken Pox’ and his mother’s disappearance at sea as accidents.”
Before the trip, Carman altered the boat by removing two forward bulkheads and trim tabs from the transom of the hull, the indictment states.
“After leaving the marina, Nathan Carman killed his mother, Linda Carman, and eventually sank the Chicken Pox,” it states.
Chakalos left behind an estate that was worth nearly $29 million, which was to be divided among his four daughters. Carman is in line to get about $7 million of the estate, as his mother’s only heir.