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Nathan Carman’s lawyers say murderous plot allegations circulating in ‘tabloid media’

Nathan Carman in court earlier this month.
Elise Amendola/Associated Press/Pool
Nathan Carman in court earlier this month.

Lawyers for Nathan Carman, the Vermont man at the center of separate investigations into the murder of his wealthy grandfather and the disappearance of his mother, are attributing allegations that he killed his relatives to the tawdry quarters of the web and the “tabloid media.”

The assertion was contained in a court filing that Carman’s attorneys submitted Friday in US District Court in Rhode Island. The insurer for Carman’s boat, which sank with him and his mother on board in September 2016, is suing him in Rhode Island in an effort to have his insurance claim on the vessel denied.

In Friday’s court filing, Carman’s lawyers referenced Judge Patricia A. Sullivan’s prior order finding that discovery in the Rhode Island case “may focus on facts bearing directly on an alleged scheme [by Carman] to procure a substantial inheritance by murdering, first, his grandfather and then, his mother through the intentional sinking of the vessel, because such facts bear directly on his intent in making the changes and repairs to the vessel that Plaintiffs allege resulted in its loss.”

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Carman’s lawyers wrote Friday that allegations “of such a ‘scheme’ may exist on the internet or within the tabloid media, however no such allegations of a scheme have been made by the parties in this case.”

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The developer John Chakalos, Carman’s grandfather, was found shot to death on Dec. 20, 2013, inside Chakalos’s Windsor, Conn., home. Carman had dinner with him the night before and was the last person known to see him alive, according to a police affidavit.

Authorities have alleged that Carman purchased a Sig Sauer 716 Patrol .308 semi-automatic assault rifle, the same caliber weapon used to murder his grandfather, and that Carman’s firearm and the GPS in his motor vehicle went missing after the slaying.

Carman has denied shooting his grandfather and hasn’t been charged criminally in connection with the case, though Connecticut investigators have labeled him a person of interest.

In September 2016, Carman and his mother, Linda, set sail from Point Judith, R.I., for a fishing trip on his 31-foot aluminum boat, which sank during the trip. He was rescued a week later, but his mother hasn’t been found.

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In court papers in the Rhode Island lawsuit, lawyers for his boat’s insurer have alleged that he made suspicious alterations to the vessel before the voyage and that he “attempts to mislead plaintiffs into erroneously concluding that his mother’s disappearance was an accident.”

Carman has also denied killing his mother and hasn’t been charged with any crimes related to her disappearance.

He’s being sued in a separate lawsuit by his aunts in New Hampshire, who are trying to block him from collecting his mother’s share of the $44 million estate that Chakalos left behind when he was killed. With Linda Carman missing and presumed dead, her share of the estate would eventually go to Nathan, her only child.

During a dramatic hearing in the New Hampshire case earlier this month, Carman suggested his aunts had “substantial motive” to murder Chakalos, which their lawyer derided as “horrific nonsense.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.