Former NFL linebacker sentenced to life for slaying

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

Eric Naposki, 45, and his then-lover, Nanette Packard, 47, killed Bill McLaughlin in a scheme to take $1 million in insurance money and live in McLaughlin’s waterfront 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. She stood to gain the money if McLaughlin died. His will also said she could live in one of his homes rent-free for a year, in the case of his death, prosecutors 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 shot the businessman dead in his kitchen before going to work at the Thunderbird nightclub 131 yards away.

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 at his trial Murphy said investigators repeatedly drove the routes Naposki said he took. They found he would have had ample time to commit the slaying.

McLaughlin’s 24-year-old son, Kevin, who suffered brain damage after a drunk driver hit him while he was skateboarding, discovered his father’s body, prosecutors said.

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 in July 2011 of one felony count of special-circumstances murder for financial gain.

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

Twitter: @lawilliams30