Judge puts off request to dismiss lawsuit in mystery deaths

Nathan Carman, speaks to reporters outside Saint Patrick - Saint Anthony Church in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, after a memorial service for his mother, Linda Carman, who was lost at sea. Nathan Carman was rescued by a freighter about 100 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard after the boat he and his mother were on sank during the weekend of Sept. 17. (AP Photo/David Collins)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire judge on Friday put off a decision on whether to dismiss a lawsuit accusing a Vermont man of killing his millionaire grandfather and possibly his mother for the inheritance money.

Nathan Carman has been called a suspect in the 2013 shooting death of 87-year-old real estate developer John Chakalos in Connecticut. No one has been arrested. He also has been questioned about the day his boat sank last year near Rhode Island with his mother onboard. She’s presumed dead.

Carman, who was not in court Friday, has denied any involvement in either case.

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His mother’s three sisters sued in New Hampshire in July, noting Chakalos had New Hampshire driving and boating licenses and that he voted in the state. Known as a slayer lawsuit, their attorney said the family is trying “to prevent Nathan Carman from profiting from the murder of his grandfather.”

Carman wants the lawsuit dismissed, saying his grandfather wasn’t a resident of New Hampshire at the time of his death.

Attorneys for the sisters also are calling for additional documents related to the case to remain sealed. They argued in court that the documents could impede the investigation and bring unwanted media attention to anyone named in them.

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Judge David King said he would take the request under advisement. He didn’t rule on the request to dismiss the lawsuit, saying he would give the two sides several more months to collect information before returning to update him.

“The family is very happy that we are moving forward with discovery in this matter,” the sisters’ attorney, Dan Small, told reporters. “There are a lot of questions without answers and a lot of answers without justice.”

In July, the sisters filed a lawsuit in New Hampshire accusing Carman of killing Chakalos and possibly Carman’s mother. They’ve asked a judge to block Carman from collecting money from his grandfather’s estate. Chakalos left more than $29 million to his four daughters, including Carman’s mother Linda, and $7 million of that money could go to Carman.

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Small has said all the evidence points to Carman as the killer. If the family wins the lawsuit, Small has said any money that would have gone to Carman would go to investigate the deaths.

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