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Former NFL player faces life in prison for Newport Beach murder

October 21, 2011 |  8:27 am

A former NFL player convicted of murdering a wealthy Newport Beach businessman in his oceanfront home in 1994 is set to be sentenced Friday and faces a possible life term in prison.

Eric Naposki was convicted in July of first-degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for committing murder for financial gain in the slaying of Bill McLaughlin.

Prosecutors claimed in court that Naposki plotted the murder with former girlfriend Nanette Packard in order to collect $1 million in life insurance and live for free in McLaughlin's Newport Beach home.

McLaughlin had a successful medical technology company when he met and began dating Packard.

Packard is accused of making a duplicate house key for Naposki, and telling him of McLaughlin's schedule so the former linebacker could kill him, according to court records.

Packard is set to go to trial Nov. 4 in the same Santa Ana courtroom where Naposki will be sentenced Friday.

McLaughlin lived with a grown son, Kevin, who had suffered brain damage as the result of a drunk-driving accident. According to prosecutors, it was Kevin McLaughlin who discovered his father's body shot six times lying on the kitchen floor.

Naposki was a former linebacker with the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts but was well "beyond broke" before he began dating Packard, prosecutors said during the trial.

The onetime linebacker at the time was working as a bouncer at the Thunderbird Nightclub — 131 yards away from McLaughlin's home, prosecutors said. Naposki is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.


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Photo:  Eric Naposki is taken away in handcuffs after his conviction. Credit: H. Lorren Au Jr./ pool photo.