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Nathan Carman fires his attorneys, calls aunts 'greedy'

By DAVE ALTIMARI
The Hartford Courant

February 07. 2018 1:23PM
Nathan Carman is at the heart of an inheritance lawsuit filed after his grandfather was shot dead and his mother mysteriously disappeared. (YOUTUBE)



Nathan Carman, the Vermont man who was rescued at sea in 2016, fired renowned Hartford attorney Hubert Santos Wednesday and said he will represent himself in a legal effort by his aunts to prevent him from inheriting money from his grandfather, who the aunts say Carman killed.

Carman’s aunts - Valerie Santilli, Elaine Chakalos and Charlene Gallagher - have filed a so-called “slayer petition” in New Hampshire probate court seeking to have a judge declare that Nathan murdered John Chakalos in December 2013 and then was responsible for the presumed death of his mother, Linda Carman, who was on a boat with Nathan Carman when it sank during a fishing trip in September 2016. Linda Carman’s body has not been found.

“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 to the media 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.”

The aunts are seeking to deny Nathan Carman access to several million dollars in trust fund money that he would inherit as his mother’s only beneficiary.

Carman said he was firing both Santos and Richard Thorner, a local New Hampshire counsel. Chakalos’ probate case is based in a New Hampshire court.

Santos has represented Carman in the criminal investigation of his grandfather’s death and for the investigation into the sinking of his boat and the loss of his mother.

In his statement, Carman accused the attorneys of lacking basic competence and the time needed to devote to the cases. 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. “Though I wish I had the financial means to hire more suitable counsel to represent me ... I am confident that through my hard work and determination alone if need be, the truth will prevail, I will be vindicated, and perhaps my grandfather’s true murderer will be uncovered.”

Santos had recently joined the slayer petition case and had filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss the case on the grounds that it was filed prematurely since Linda Carman has not been declared legally dead. He also argued that it was filed in the wrong jurisdiction. The judge hasn’t ruled on that motion yet.

“We are no longer involved in Mr. Carman’s cases, and we wish him the best of luck going forward,” said Santos.

The attorney for the family said that it is Nathan Carman who has always been fixated on money.

“The family has made clear from day one that if they win the Slayer case, that the proceeds that Linda would receive would be donated to charity in her name,” Boston attorney Dan Small said Wednesday.

A billboard on I-91 in Hartford, Conn., offers a reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of John Chakalos. (Patrick Raycraft/Hartford Courant/TNS)

John Chakalos’ probate case is still pending, but documents filed in that case show that Nathan Carman could inherit as much as $7 million from that estate.

“Once again, Nathan is fixated on money, all the Chakalos family wants is justice. Nathan’s latest claim that the family is looking for money is as false as his story that he somehow ‘lost’ his $3,000 assault rifle,” Small said.

Small is referring to a Sig Sauer rifle that law enforcement records show Nathan Carman purchased before his grandfather’s shooting death and that used the same caliber of bullets that was used ito kill John Chakalos.

Nathan Carman didn’t tell police about that gun and when they discovered he had purchased it he told them he had lost it. That gun has never been found.

Nathan Carman has told authorities that his boat, the Chicken Pox, took on water quickly, prompting him to grab an emergency kit and climb onto a life raft. He said he could not find his mother after the boat sank.

Carman was found a week later by a passing freighter, hundreds of miles from where he said the boat went down.

In court papers, Linda Carman’s three sisters, as well as the company that insured Nathan Carman’s boat, have challenged his story, alleging he tampered with the boat, causing the vessel to sink and killing his mother.

Carman is trying to get the insurance company to pay doe the loss of his boat and they denied the claim.

Carman said the firing of the attorneys is part of a more aggressive public relations strategy he plans to take now.

“Henceforth, I plan to take a responsible but more open approach to managing public relations than my attorneys have permitted me to take to date, and 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,” Carman said.


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