|Official seal of City of Newport Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
A story that has haunted Orange County for almost twenty years came to an end this week. Eric Andrew Naposki, 45, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole– plus five years in state prison. Naposki had been convicted earlier this summer of killing wealthy Newport beach businessman Bill McLaughlin in 1994.
Although Naposki has maintained his innocence throughout the judicial process the evidence brought justice to the day. It is believed that Naposki, a ex-NFL linebacker for the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts, murdered McLaughlin in 1994 to steal his money.
In 1994, Naposki was 27-years-old working as a nightclub doorman. Naposki was essentially broke renting a small Tustin studio apartment. While McLaughlin was a 55-year-old-millionaire, earning more than $100,000-a-month off his business.
The link between these two men had been a 29-year-old woman known as Nanette Johnson who had been romantically linked to both men. The prosecution argued that Johnson and Naposki had co-conspired to kill McLaughlin for his money.
The case had been cold for years until new evidence came to light in 2009 bringing justice to McLaughlin’s family. Kimberly McLaughlin, Bill McLaughlin’s daughter said in a victim-impact statement presented in court that “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.”
Johnson, now Nanette Packard, 47, of Ladera Ranch, was also convicted and sentence to life without the possibility of parole earlier this year.
An Orange County Superior Court jury found Naposki guilty on July 14 of one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.