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Former NFL player gets life in slaying of wealthy Newport Beach man

August 10, 2012 |  1:55 pm

Eric Naposki, a former NFL linebacker, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 1994 slaying of a wealthy Newport Beach businessman, prosecutors said

A former NFL linebacker was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 1994 slaying of a wealthy Newport Beach businessman, prosecutors said.

Eric Naposki, 45, killed Bill McLaughlin with his then-lover, Nanette Packard, in a scheme to collect $1 million in insurance money and live in the businessman's beach house rent free for a year, prosecutor Matt Murphy told jurors at Naposki’s trial last year.

At the time, Packard dated and lived with McLaughlin at his home, and stood to gain the insurance money if McLaughlin died, prosecutors said. His will also said she could live in one of his homes rent free for a year if he died, they said.

The Orange County district attorney's office claims that on the night of McLaughlin's murder, Naposki entered the home using a key Packard left for him and then shot the businessman to death in his kitchen before going to work at the nearby Thunderbird Nightclub.

Naposki was scheduled to be sentenced earlier this year with Packard, but he refused to leave his cell outside the courtroom -- a move Murphy deemed as a "final blaze of no class and cowardice."

Naposki was found guilty of one felony count of special-circumstances murder for financial gain in July 2011. Packard was found guilty of one felony count of special-circumstances murder for financial gain in January and was sentenced in May to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Naposki originally told police that he was at a soccer game for one of Packard's children before he went to work and wouldn't have had time to kill McLaughlin. But during the trial, Murphy said investigators repeatedly drove the routes Naposki said he took, and found he had ample time to commit the slaying.

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-- Lauren Williams 

Photo: Eric Naposki is led away after being found guilty of murdering Newport Beach businessman William McLaughlin. Credit: Associated Press

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