A Vermont man facing charges he murdered his mother at sea in order to obtain a multimillion dollar inheritance has been found dead in his jail cell in New Hampshire, officials announced yesterday.
The state medical examiner and the Keene police are investigating the death of Nathan Carman, according to the New Hampshire Department of Justice, which added that the death is not considered suspicious.
Carman, 29, was being held in jail pending his trial, scheduled for October in Vermont, on murder and fraud charges to which he had pleaded not guilty.
In 2016, Carman was rescued on a raft 115 miles off Martha’s Vineyard. He told his rescuers and police that his mother died at sea when their fishing boat sank.
Police had identified him as a suspect in the shooting death in Connecticut of his grandfather, John Chakalos, three years earlier but he was never charged with that crime.
In May 2022, he was charged in Vermont with the murder of his mother as part of an alleged plot to gain her inheritance.
A boat insurance claim denial and fraud investigation were integral pieces of the murder case against Carman. After the sinking of the boat, Carman attempted to collect $85,000 on boat insurance policies but the insurance companies filed suit against Carman to keep him from collecting any money.
Although Carman claimed the boat sinking was an accident, insurers and prosecutors believe he deliberately sabotaged the boat to kill his mother. In 2019, a federal judge in Rhode Island decided that Carman contributed to sinking the fishing boat, ruling in favor of an insurance company that had refused to pay the claim for the boat’s loss.
Carman’s attorneys told The Associated Press that Carman’s death was a tragedy and they believed he would have been vindicated once the entire story came out in court.
Photo: Nathan Carman, center, carries documents as he arrives at federal court, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, in Providence, R.I. Carman faces civil charges in federal court over insurance issues regarding the boat aboard which he and his mother went out to sea for a night of fishing in 2016. The boat sank, Carman survived but his mother was never found. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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