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Vermont man accused of killing his mother at sea dies before federal trial

Nathan Carman was accused of killing his grandfather in 2013 and then his mother three years later in an attempt to inherit millions of dollars.
Nathan Carman
Nathan Carman carries flowers to a memorial service for his mother, Linda Carman, in Hartford, Conn., in 2016.Patrick Raycraft / Hartford Courant via AP file

A man who was charged with the murder of his mother in what authorities described as an inheritance scheme has died months before his trial was set to begin.

The U.S. Marshals Service informed federal prosecutors in Vermont of Nathan Carman's death, which occurred "on or about June 15," the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Vermont said in a court filing Thursday to dismiss the case. The circumstances of Carman's death were not immediately known.

The marshals said in a statement that Keene police were handling the investigation of the death at a detention facility. Keene police did not provide any additional details.

Attorneys listed for Carman did not immediately respond to requests for more information about his death.

Carman was charged with first-degree murder and various counts of fraud last year in connection with the death of his mother, Linda. She disappeared in 2016 after she went on a fishing trip on Carman's boat, the Chicken Pox.

The U.S. attorney’s office described the case as a “murder on the high seas" after Carman was charged last year.

Prosecutors alleged that Carman purposely sank the boat off Rhode Island. Carman rigged the boat so it would take on water, then lied to the Coast Guard and other law enforcement officials about his mother’s disappearance, according to the federal indictment last year.

Carman was also accused of murdering his grandfather John Chakalos, who had bequeathed a $42 million estate to his four adult daughters. Chakalos was shot twice while he slept in his home in Windsor, Connecticut, prosecutors said.

According to the indictment, Carman bout the rifle used in his murder on Nov. 11, 2013, and used it to kill his grandfather the next month. His mother inherited part of Chakalos' estate, which was made by building and renting nursing homes.

Carman allegedly persuaded his mother to name him her beneficiary. Years later, he was unemployed and "low on funds," the indictment said.

Carman's mother arrived at his home the night of Sept. 17, 2016, and spent time on her son's boat, believing she'd be home by the next day.

Linda Carman arrived at his home after 11 p.m. Sept. 17, prosecutors said. Spending time on her son’s boat was her primary way of interacting with him, they said.

Carman's boat didn't return to port on Sept. 18, and an official search was launched days later. He was found about 115 nautical miles from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, on a life raft adrift in shipping lanes, authorities said.

Carman was facing life in prison if he were convicted of the murder charge at his October trial.