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August 15, 2012

MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE FOR 1994 NEWPORT BEACH COLD CASE MURDER FOR FINANCIAL GAIN OF LOVER'S BENEFACTOR

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: — fayarfa @ 8:18 pm

*Defendant’s former girlfriend has been convicted and sentenced in this case

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to life without the possibility of parole plus an additional five years in state prison for the 1994 cold case shooting-murder of his lover’s benefactor-boyfriend in the victim’s Newport Beach home. Eric Andrew Naposki, 45, Greenwich, CT, was found guilty by a jury July 14, 2011, of one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.

Naposki’s former girlfriend and co-defendant Nanette Ann Packard, formerly Nanette Ann Johnston, 47, Ladera Ranch, was found guilty by a jury Jan. 23, 2012, of one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain and was sentenced May 18, 2012, to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Circumstances of the Case
In 1991, Packard met and dated Bill McLaughlin. The wealthy victim had a successful medical technology business and began financially supporting Packard. Packard, who was divorced with two children, lived in a beach-front home owned by McLaughlin and also with the victim in his bay-front home.

While in a relationship and being supported by McLaughlin, Packard was also dating Naposki, a former National Football League linebacker for the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. Naposki worked as a bouncer at the Thunderbird Nightclub, which was located in Newport Beach only 131 yards from the victim’s home.

Packard convinced Naposki to murder McLaughlin for financial gain. She provided Naposki with a key to the victim’s home and information about McLaughlin’s schedule and when he was expected to be at the house. Packard had a $1 million life insurance policy on the victim and had provisions in his will that she would receive $150,000 in the event of his death and would have the right to live in his beach house rent free for one year.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. on Dec. 15, 1994, Naposki entered McLaughlin’s home using the house key and shot the victim six times while he was standing in the kitchen. McLaughlin’s son, a young adult who suffered brain damage as a result of being hit by a drunken driver, was upstairs listening to music and heard the gunshots. The victim’s son found his murdered father and called 911.

Naposki fled the scene and went to work. He was scheduled to work at 9:00 p.m. that night and showed up late.

On the day before the murder, Packard wrote a $250,000 check from one of McLaughlin’s accounts and deposited it into her personal account, which posted the Monday after the murder. In 1995, Packard was charged with grand theft by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) for stealing close to $500,000 from McLaughlin before and after his murder. Packard pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year in jail on March 22, 1996, for writing checks from the victim’s personal account without his knowledge, depositing them into her own accounts, and hiding the theft by altering the books to falsely show that the money went to business costs. Senior Assistant Joe D’Agostino, who was then a prosecutor in the Major Fraud Unit, prosecuted the grand theft case.

The murder was investigated but went cold. The Newport Beach Police Department and OCDA Task Force Review aimed at catching Killers, Rapists, and Sexual Offenders (TracKRS) Unit began re-investigating this case and charges were filed in 2009 as a result of the additional investigation and re-review of the original evidence. Naposki was subsequently arrested and extradited from Connecticut.

Victim Impact Statements at Naposki’s Sentencing
During the sentencing today, three victim impact statements from McLaughlin’s friends and family were presented to the court. McLaughlin’s daughter, Kimberly McLaughlin, said in part, “Our dad planned his life around family time. Sunday brunches, family dinners, and family vacations. Any excuse to enjoy each other and get that quality time together. And because of Eric’s selfish reasons, he decided to take my dad away from us. Thankfully, there is one thing that [he] cannot take from us no matter what. That is the intense and abundant amount of love my dad gave us all the years we got to spend with him.”

Victim Impact Statements at Packard’s Sentencing
At Packard’s sentencing in May 2012, McLaughlin’s two daughters gave victim impacts statements to the court. Kim McLaughlin said in part about Packard, “[She] said in one of [her] interviews with the police that [she] ‘didn’t want Bill’s kids’ to know about [her] ‘other life.’ Well, now we know so much more than we could have ever imagined in our worst nightmare. And now, so do so many others in your life from whom you thought you could keep all your secrets, including your parents, your children, and ALL of your ex-husbands. The destructive trail of deceit is astounding. The fact that you destroyed so many lives, including my dad’s, is vile. Finally, your web of lies has caught up with you and your true nature has been revealed.”

Jenny McLaughlin said, “I feel very grateful to have had such a wonderful father in my life for as long as I did. I wish he could have stayed with us longer and that God would have chosen his time to leave, rather than a person with a gun and a greedy heart.”

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