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Middletown native faces federal judge for ‘murder on the high seas’ charges

Nathan Carman faces judge in mother's murder
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 11:11 AM EDT|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 12:27 PM EDT
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RUTLAND, VT (WFSB) – The man accused of killing his mother on a deep-sea fishing trip says he is not guilty.

Wednesday, federal authorities charged Nathan Carman with murder.

It has been six years since Carman was found floating on a life raft miles off the Rhode Island coast.

The government divulged Nathan Carman’s mental health history as they made a case as to why he needs to be detained.

In newly released court documents, Eyewitness News learned more about Nathan Carman’s life since 2016, the year he’s accused of killing his mother, Linda Carman.

“He has limited human connections and little personal interaction with other people. His conduct severed his ties with his remaining family,” court documents say.

The U.S. Attorney in Vermont says that “conduct” was killing his grandfather in Windsor in 2013 and his mother deep off the coast of Rhode Island in 2016.

Authorities say the motive in the killings was to increase his share of an inheritance.

Carman is now 28 years old and has been a free man until today.

He entered federal court in Rutland, Vermont proclaiming innocence.

Nathan Carman yelled “not guilty” when he entered court Wednesday.

He appeared in a long brown t-shirt, black cargo pants and brown boots. He was calm throughout the 15-minute hearing.

Nathan Carman is charged with murder at high sea, which comes with a mandatory life sentence.

Realizing his freedom is in jeopardy, he asked the judge how he could contact a private attorney.

He was told he’d be allowed to work it out with his federal public defender.

For the majority of the hearing, carman held his uncuffed hands behind his back, but he’d end up leaving in cuffs.

The government outlined its reasons as to why Carman should be detained.

They are worried he’d run away, writing: “The evidence shows that he has killed not once, but twice. Moreover, the individuals Carman killed were his own family members. For an individual who would kill his own family members, nothing is off the table.”

Eyewitness News obtained photos from the Brattleboro Reformer of federal agents scouring carman’s Vernon, Vermont home. They found $10,000 in cash.

The federal government continued to call out Carman’s mental health writing: “Carman was treated for mental health issues from the time he was a small child until he was 17 years old. Since that time, Nathan Carman has avoided any mental health treatment”

They say Nathan Carman has been cut off from the rest of his family and has limited interactions with anyone else.

There are several ties to Connecticut.

After an issue at school in 2011, “Carman was diagnosed with potential mood and psychotic disorders.”

“In 2014, police in Middletown secured a ‘risk warrant’ resulting Carman being evaluated at a local hospital.”

The federal government continued to call out Nathan Carman’s mental health writing: “Carman was treated for mental health issues from the time he was a small child until he was 17 years old. Since that time, Carman has avoided any mental health treatment”

The judge detained Nathan Carman until Monday, where he’ll have a hearing dedicated specifically to detention.

His trial is expected to start on August 12.

Previous story follows:

The case has had many twists and turns.

Nathan Carman grew up in Middletown but later moved to Vermont.

Three years prior to the fatal fishing trip, Nathan Carman’s grandfather was murdered in his Windsor home.

Court documents flat out said that he killed his grandfather, 87-year-old John Chakalos. However, Nathan Carman was not charged with that on Wednesday.

Wednesday was all about Linda Carman’s disappearance and Nathan Carman’s quest for her money.

The Carmans left a Rhode Island dock and took their 31-foot boat way offshore, out to Block Canyon, on Sept. 17, 2016.

Linda Carman would never be seen again.

Seven days later, Nathan Carman, would be found floating on a life raft.

The amazing rescue and survival story soon turned to suspicion.

For years, investigators tried to determine if Nathan Carman was connected to his mother’s disappearance.

They also tried to determine if Nathan Carman was connected to his grandfather’s homicide in 2013.

Court documents showed that Chakalos was found shot twice in his Windsor home with a Sig Sauer while he slept.

After Chakalos’s death, Nathan Carman inherited more than $500,000.

Department of Justice officials said he went through that money and by fall of 2016 was “low on funds.”

According to the indictment released Tuesday, Nathan Carman arranged to go on the fishing trip where he planned to kill his mother.

Years went by and that was never proven.

Meanwhile, Nathan Carman was fighting several battles in court.

He tried to collect an $85,000 insurance claim on the boat but was denied and then sued by the insurance company.

Nathan Carman’s aunt also took him to court to try and block the $7.8 million he was set to have inherited after Linda Carman’s death.

It’s unclear what new evidence prompted a grand jury to indict Nathan Carman now after all these years, but he was charged with murder on the high seas and fraud.

The murder on the high seas charge carries a mandatory life sentence.

The fraud charges could lead to up to 30 years in prison.

Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of the case.

Nathan Carman faces judge in mother's murder
Nathan Carman faces judge for mother's murder
A Middletown native is on the docket to face a federal judge Wednesday on charges that he killed his mother during a deep-sea fishing trip.