A Vermont man awaiting trial for allegedly killing his mom at sea to get his $7 million inheritance was found dead in his jail cell early Thursday, authorities said.
Nathan Carman’s body was discovered inside a county jail cell in Keene, New Hampshire, at about 2.30 a.m. when officers were making their rounds, according to the Cheshire Corrections Department.
The 29-year-old’s cause of death is still under investigation, the officials said, adding Carman was the sole occupant of the cell at the time.
Carman, who pleaded not guilty last year to fraud and first-degree murder in the death of his mom, Linda Carman, was scheduled to go on trial in October.
One of his lawyers, Martin Minnella, said Carman appeared to be “in good spirits” when he last spoke to his defense team on Wednesday.
“We were meeting with some experts today over Zoom at 12 o’clock. We were prepared to start picking a jury on Oct. 10 and we were confident we were going to win,” the attorney said.
Prosecutors alleged in an eight-count indictment that Carman had planned to kill his mom on a fishing trip by making it appear as if their boat had sunk.
Eight days after they set off from a Rhode Island marina in September 2016, Carman was found alone floating in an inflatable raft off the coast.
In his initial statement after being rescued, Carman told members of the US Coast Guard he had tried to save his mother from the sinking boat but wasn’t able too.
Prosecutors alleged Carman deliberately altered the boat to make it more likely to sink.
The indictment also alleged Carman killed his grandfather, John Chakalos, years earlier — though no charges were ever brought.
Chakalos was found shot dead in his home in Windsor, Connecticut, in 2013.
Prosecutors said the deaths of Carman’s mom and grandfather paved the way for him to inherit an estimated $7 million — Linda Carman’s share of her father’s estate.
The inheritance remains tied up in probate court in Connecticut after Carman’s three aunts sought to block him from receiving any money from his grandfather’s estate.