The Vermont man accused of fatally shooting his rich grandfather to get his hands on a trust fund and then orchestrating the death of his mother at sea for even more money will try to convince a judge on Tuesday that he should be set free until trial.
The hearing is the latest development in a long-running legal saga that has divided relatives of property mogul John Chakalos, who was killed in his sleep in 2013.
Two aunts of suspect Nathan Carman wrote a letter to the court asking that the 28-year-old be kept locked up.
“We are very concerned that Nathan has nothing to lose if he is allowed out of jail at this time and will seek retribution against the family,” said the letter from Elaine Chakalos and Charlene Gallagher, which was obtained by the Greenwich Time before being removed from the docket.
On the other side is Carman’s father, Earle Clark Carman, who called his son “a responsible young man who poses no risk to himself or others”—and claimed the aunts are nursing a grudge.
“Nathan was the first born male in a Greek family,” he wrote to the court on Monday. “As such his grandfather doted on him from the beginning which never stopped.
“This created a resentment by his aunts coupled with the fact that he had Asperger’s which seemed to make them jealous of the situation. This continued throughout Nathan’s life.”
Carman was indicted in May and accused of killing his grandfather and mother, Linda, as “part of a scheme to obtain money and property from the estate of John Chakalos and related family trusts.”
Prosecutors allege that after Carman killed Chakalos in his Windsor, Connecticut, home, he collected $550,000 from the estate, blew through it quickly, and then decided to get rid of his mother—who had made him the beneficiary of her share of her father’s immense wealth.
They say he lured his mother aboard a boat he had just bought and tampered with to take on water. When the pair did not return as scheduled, a search was launched, and Carman was found on a life raft. He told authorities that by the time he realized the vessel was in peril it was too late to save his mother.
Carman put in an $85,000 claim for the loss of the boat, Chicken Pox, and sued when the insurance company balked at the payout. A judge sided with the insurer, finding the deadly sinking was Carman’s fault. “The unseaworthy state of the boat brought about by the faulty repairs, at least indirectly caused it to sink,” he ruled.
Carman was also sued by his mother’s three sisters to stop him from collecting the millions she inherited from John Chakalos; that case is ongoing.
Prosecutors wrote in a motion opposing Carman’s release that the aunts could be in danger if he is freed.
“He is alleged to have carefully planned the killing of the two people closest to him in order to financially benefit from their deaths. He has demonstrated an ability to obtain and use firearms. He also has a significant motive to kill to secure his liberty, or to retaliate against those who he believes put him in criminal jeopardy or are undermining his scheme,” they wrote.