WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS/AP) — A Vermont man accused by relatives of killing his millionaire grandfather and his mother to collect inheritance money went before a Connecticut probate judge Tuesday in an effort to tap into a family trust to pay for legal expenses. The judge did not rule immediately.
Nathan Carman is requesting that his aunt, Valerie Santilli, be removed as trustee of the Nathan Carman Family Trust, a fund that was set up for him by his grandfather in 2011 and is worth about $270,000 today, according to court documents.
Carman, 24, of Vernon, Vermont, filed the probate court action after his request last year for $150,000 from the trust for legal expenses was rejected, court documents filed by Santilli’s lawyers say. He cited Santilli’s “extreme hostility” toward him and other factors in his court filings.
He said he needed the money for legal representation to defend himself against a lawsuit in New Hampshire filed by Santilli and her two sisters. They accuse him of killing his grandfather, John Chakalos, and possibly his mother, Linda, and are asking the New Hampshire judge to block him from collecting any money from his grandfather’s estate. Carman denies any involvement in the deaths.
Chakalos, a real estate developer, was found shot to death in his home in Windsor, Connecticut, in 2013. Police said Carman was a suspect in the killing, but a prosecutor declined to sign an arrest warrant and no one has been charged. Carman’s mother, Linda, went missing during a fishing trip with him in 2016 after their boat sank near Rhode Island and is presumed dead. Carman was rescued at sea.
Chakalos, 87, who also had a home in West Chesterfield, New Hampshire, left an estate now worth more than $29 million to his four daughters, and $7 million of that could go to Carman.
Carman also is fighting an insurer in federal court in Rhode Island over his insurance claim for his boat. The insurer alleges he made suspicious alterations to the boat before it sank and it is trying to avoid payment on the $85,000 policy.
Santilli’s lawyers say she appointed an independent lawyer, at Carman’s urging, to review his request for $150,000 for legal costs, and that request was rejected because Carman refused to provide financial information. They also say Santilli previously approved giving Carman $25,000 in 2012 for him to buy a car and $175,000 in 2014 to pay his Connecticut defense lawyer, who later returned $150,000 to the trust, court documents say.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)