Vermont man charged in ‘Murder on the High Seas’ plot will remain in jail without bail

A Vermont man charged with killing his mother at sea during a 2016 fishing trip off the coast of New England in a plot to inherit millions of dollars will remain in jail until his trial because he’s a flight risk, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

U.S. District Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford denied Nathan Carman’s request to be released and ordered him held without bail, saying he is a potential flight risk and danger due to the seriousness of the charges, lack of strong family, employment or community connections ‘and his involvement with firearms and the ongoing feud with his family’ over his late grandfather’s inheritance.

Crawford said the evidence regarding the loss of his mother at sea, and ‘the acrimonious dispute’ with his aunts over the inheritance, as well as his purchase of AR-15 type weapons ‘are evidence that this is a volatile situation.’

Carman, 28, of Vernon, Vermont, was charged in May with murder and fraud in the killing of his mother, Linda Carman of Middletown, Connecticut, during a fishing trip in which his boat sank. He was found floating in a raft and rescued eight days after departing from a Rhode Island marina. 

Carman pleaded not guilty in his mother’s death. The judge noted on Tuesday that he faces a mandatory life sentence, without the possibility of parole, if convicted.

Nathan Carman will remain behind bars after being charged with killing his mother at sea during a 2016 fishing trip off the coast of New England in a plot to inherit millions of dollars. He’s pictured here at an appearance in federal court in Providence, Rhode Island in 2019

Carman allegedly killed his mother (pictured together) and grandfather in a bid to defraud Chakalos' $42million estate - built up through building and renting nursing homes

Carman allegedly killed his mother (pictured together) and grandfather in a bid to defraud Chakalos’ $42million estate – built up through building and renting nursing homes

Prosecutors have also accused Carman of killing his grandfather, John Chakalos, 87, who they say was shot in his home in Windsor, Connecticut, in 2013 as part of a scheme to obtain money and property from his grandfather´s estate. 

Carman was the last person to see his grandfather alive when he had dinner with him the night before his death, according to a police affidavit. He received $550,000 from his grandfather’s estate, but prosecutors say he then killed his mother because he wanted more, according to the indictment. 

Assistant US Attorney Nathanael Burris revealed new details on Tuesday when he told the judge that Carman’s grandfather had been supporting him but threatened to cut him off financially if he failed to keep his grades up in college.

Two days before Chakalos was murdered, Carman received his grades from Keene State College which revealed he had failed every class. 

Carman ‘knew what his grandfather would do,’ Burris said. Carman has not been charged in that case and has denied any involvement in his grandfather’s death.

When Carman was arraigned in May on charges alleging he killed his mother, he shouted ‘Not guilty!’ in the direction of reporters who asked him if he had killed his mother as he approached the courtroom, where he then entered a formal plea of not guilty. 

But his own relatives have begged the court to keep him behind bars until his trial.

‘We strongly support the actions of the US Attorney’s Office to have Nathan remain in custody as we firmly believe, knowing Nathan better than anyone, that he is both a danger to this family and a flight risk,’ Carman’s aunts, Elaine Chakalos and Charlene Gallagher, wrote in a letter to the court, according to the Boston Globe.

However, Carman’s father pleaded for his son’s release, according to a letter filed in court on Monday.

Earle Clark Carman described his son as ‘a responsible young man who poses no ongoing mental health issues’ and is only interested in proving his innocence. 

But prosecutors argued this week that the father doesn’t know his son and admitted during a 2018 deposition that he had only seen him once between 2013 and 2016, when he picked him up after he was rescued at sea. 

Nathan Carman, 28, was arraigned in federal court in Rutland, Vermont in May 2022. He yelled 'not guilty' as he was led into the courthouse

Nathan Carman, 28, was arraigned in federal court in Rutland, Vermont in May 2022. He yelled ‘not guilty’ as he was led into the courthouse

An indictment from May claims Carman shot and killed his grandfather John Chakalos (right), 87, as he slept at home in Windsor, Connecticut, in 2013

An indictment from May claims Carman shot and killed his grandfather John Chakalos (right), 87, as he slept at home in Windsor, Connecticut, in 2013

In September 2016, Nathan 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 killed his mother on the boat, which he had altered to make it more likely to sink that day. He has denied doing anything to intentionally make the boat unseaworthy. 

Prosecutors allege the inheritance scheme that has spanned nearly a decade began with Carman buying a rifle in New Hampshire that he used to shoot Chakalos on December 20, 2013, while he slept.

He then discarded his computer hard drive and the GPS unit that had been in his truck, prosecutors said.

Carman is seen after his 'rescue' at sea in 2016. Prosecutors say he killed his mother and intentionally sank his boat as part of a scheme to gain a $7 million inheritance

Carman is seen after his ‘rescue’ at sea in 2016. Prosecutors say he killed his mother and intentionally sank his boat as part of a scheme to gain a $7 million inheritance

Carman and his mom Linda frequently took fishing trips together (above) and prosecutors say he used it as a pretense to lure her to her death in 2016

Carman and his mom Linda frequently took fishing trips together (above) and prosecutors say he used it as a pretense to lure her to her death in 2016

Prosecutors allege Carman killed his mother Linda (pictured) on the boat, which he had altered to make it more likely to sink that day

Prosecutors allege Carman killed his mother Linda (pictured) on the boat, which he had altered to make it more likely to sink that day

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 Chakalos’ death, Carman received $550,000 from two bank accounts that his grandfather had set up and that he was the beneficiary of when Chakalos died.

He then moved from an apartment in Bloomfield, Connecticut, to Vernon, Vermont, in 2014 and was unemployed much of the time. 

By the fall of 2016, he was low on funds when he hatched the scheme to kill his mother, 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.

Prosecutors allege Carman killed his mother on his boat, dubbed the Chicken Pox (above) which he had altered to make it more likely to sink that day

Prosecutors allege Carman killed his mother on his boat, dubbed the Chicken Pox (above) which he had altered to make it more likely to sink that day 

Carman takes off his life vest after he arrives at the Coast Guard base in Boston on September 27, 2016

Carman takes off his life vest after he arrives at the Coast Guard base in Boston on September 27, 2016

Carman takes off his life vest after he arrives at the Coast Guard base in Boston in 2016

Carman's grandfather made his money building and selling nursing home properties

Carman’s grandfather made his money building and selling nursing home properties

Carman's aunts have said he is 'both a danger to this family and a flight risk'

Carman’s aunts have said he is ‘both a danger to this family and a flight risk’

Carman has for years been a suspect in his grandfather’s murder and his mother’s disappearance, but has insisted he is innocent of any crime.

Chakalos’ three surviving daughters sued Carman in New Hampshire probate court, seeking to bar him from receiving any money from Chakalos´ estate. A judge dismissed the case in 2019, saying Chakalos was not a New Hampshire resident. The probate case was refiled in Connecticut, where it remains pending.

In a separate 2019 case, a federal judge in Rhode Island decided that Carman contributed to the sinking of the Chicken Pox.

U.S. District Judge John McConnell issued a written decision in favor of an insurance company that had refused to pay an $85,000 claim to Carman for the loss of his 31-foot fishing boat.

Carman denied the allegations, telling the Coast Guard that when the boat filled quickly with water, he swam to the life raft and called for his mother but never saw her again.

He was found floating in the raft off the coast of Martha´s Vineyard, a Massachusetts island, by the crew of a freighter eight days after the boat was reported missing.

As his mother’s only heir, Carman is now in line to get about $7 million of her estate.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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