'I Did Not Kill My Grandfather or My Mother': Accused Murderer Insists Innocence
CONCORD (AP) — A Vermont man accused by family members of killing his millionaire grandfather and possibly his mother said several of his relatives are "being driven by malice and greed" and are spreading lies about him.
Nathan Carman has been called a suspect in the 2013 shooting death of 87-year-old real estate developer John Chakalos in Windsor, Connecticut. No one has been arrested. He also has been questioned about the day his boat sank with his mother, Linda Carman, aboard near Rhode Island in 2016. She is presumed dead. He was rescued a week later, after being found floating on a life raft in the Atlantic Ocean.
Carman, who lives in Vernon, Vermont, has denied any involvement in either case.
In July, his mother's three sisters filed a lawsuit in New Hampshire accusing him of killing Chakalos and possibly his mother. They have asked a judge to block him from collecting money from his grandfather's estate. Chakalos left more than $29 million to his four daughters, and $7 million of that money could go to Nathan Carman.
"I did not kill my grandfather or my mother, nor did I engage in the violent behavior in my childhood that has been reported," Carman said in statement released Wednesday.
"It is my aunts who are being driven by malice and greed to make the vexatious, false, and insupportable allegations which form the basis of their probate lawsuit in New Hampshire," he said.
Carman spoke for one of the first times since the lawsuit linking him to the disappearance of his grandfather and mother was filed. Beyond the comments in his one-page statement sent to The Associated Press, Carman refused to answer any questions.
Dan Small, an attorney representing the sisters, accused Carman of being "fixated on money" and said the Chakalos family only wanted "justice."
Small said in a statement the family has made it clear that if they win the case, "the proceeds that Linda would receive would be donated to charity in her name."
Carman said he was also firing his two attorneys in the New Hampshire case, Hubert Santos and Richard Thorner. He accused them of lacking basic competence and the time needed to devote the case. He also said he was worried they could not ensure the best outcome.
Carman said he would represent himself until he finds new attorneys.
"I plan to aggressively pursue all legal avenues available to me for rectifying the injustices which have already been perpetrated and obtaining a just outcome in the matters that are ongoing," he said.
Santos' law offices confirmed he is no longer involved in Carman's case in New Hampshire, nor the criminal investigation in Connecticut into the death of Carman's grandfather. Thorner did not respond to requests for comment.
Carman is fighting several legal battles. Along with the New Hampshire case, Carman and the insurer for his boat, the Chicken Pox, are fighting over his insurance claim in a Rhode Island court.
In December, National Liability & Fire Insurance asked a federal judge to force Carman to discuss what happened to a missing Sig Sauer .308-caliber semi-automatic rifle that he owned and matches the caliber used to kill his grandfather. Carman must also turn over 2016 phone records from Sept. 1 through Sept. 25, the day he was rescued.
The insurance company is seeking to avoid payment on an $85,000 policy for the boat Carman was on when he and his mother went missing at sea.