Defense: Man charged with killing mother at sea competent

Posted at 7:28 PM, May 27, 2022 and last updated 11:59 AM, June 15, 2023

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A public defender for the 28-year-old man charged with killing his mother at sea in a plot to inherit millions of dollars said Friday the defense believes Nathan Carman is competent.

FILE – Nathan Carman speaks at a hearing in probate court, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018, in West Hartford, Conn. Carman, who was found floating on a raft in the ocean off the coast of Rhode Island in 2016 after his boat sank, has been indicted on charges alleging he killed his mother at sea to inherit the family’s estate, according to the indictment unsealed Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant via AP, Pool, File)

A federal judge in Vermont held a status conference to ask lawyers on both sides if a mental health evaluation would be pursued. The government, too, is not asking for a competency hearing, a federal prosecutor said.

The grand jury indictment accuses Carman, of Vernon, Vermont, of murder and fraud in the killing of his mother, Linda Carman, during a 2018 fishing trip that began in Rhode Island. Eight days after he and his mother left port, he was found alone in a life raft near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He pleaded not guilty earlier this month.

The indictment also accuses him of fatally shooting his millionaire grandfather, John Chakalos, in 2013 in Connecticut, but does not charge him with that killing. Carman has repeatedly denied any involvement in both deaths.

Federal prosecutors say their deaths opened the door for Carman to inherit an estimated $7 million — his mother’s share of Chakalos’ estate.