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EXCLUSIVE: Nathan Carman appears in court, fighting for grandfather’s inheritance money

WEST HARTFORD -- The riddle of Nathan Carman continued Thursday inside a West Hartford courtroom.

Carman is the Middletown man considered by his own family to be the prime suspect in the murder of his grandfather, and was the last person to see his mother alive.

On Thursday, he questioned his aunt about money he said he’s entitled too.

His story dates back to 2013 when his grandfather, John Chakalos — a millionaire real estate developer was found murdered — was shot execution-style.

Carman argued he’s entitled to $150,000 from a trust his grandfather established for him, which his aunt, Valerie Santilly, is the executor of.  Carman said he needs the money to pay attorney fees. Santilly told the court the money was intended as a safety net for basic needs.

“John specifically set up this trust for a specific purpose,” said Santilly.

She told the court she isn't denying Carman money, but needs more information about his financial state before making an informed decision.

“I never once said I would not give you the money," Santilly said. "I never said that. Never. To this day I am willing to help you and work with you.”

In addition to being suspected by his aunts in the murder of Chakalos, Carman is also the last one to see his mother, Linda Carman, alive. She went missing when their boat sank on a fishing trip together in 2016. Nathan was rescued after what he said was eight days in a life raft.

“Do you remember warning the Coast Guard about me in any way?” Carman asked his aunt.

“I remember telling the Coast Guard that they would find you and they would not find my sister,” she responded.

In the weeks that followed — Carman held a memorial service for his mother and his aunts never showed up.

At one point he directly asked his aunt if she believed he was a killer.

Carman: “Did you believe that I was innocent in my grandfather's murder when you distributed funds to pay for my defense?”

Valerie: “No.”

Carman: “Did you believe that I was guilty of my grandfather's murder at that time?”

Valerie: “Yes.”

Nathan: “Then why did you distribute funds?”

Valerie: “Because it was the right thing to do.”

Carman inherited $7 million when his mother died and more than half a million dollars when his grandfather died.

Now, he’s out of money.

Carman tried to prove that his aunt was not fulfilling her duties as trust executor to act in his best interest.

Carman has never been charged with any crime, but investigators said he was with his grandfather the night he was killed, and he was shot with the same caliber gun Carman purchased.

Carman also threw away his computer hard drive and GPS.  FOX61 gave Carman the chance to explain himself as he left.

“Nathan how did you run through all that inheritance money?” FOX61 asked.“What’s your best case that you want to make to the public on why you are innocent?”

Carman stopped briefly in the parking lot.

“I prefer to make my case in court and not to the public,” he said before climbing into his small red car and driving off.

“Mr. Carman is a murderer. He continues to try to hide. He continues to try to answer questions falsely," his aunt’s attorney, Daniel Small said.

The Windsor Police Department still consider Carman a suspect in the murder of his grandfather. He has denied his involvement in both deaths. The investigation is ongoing.

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