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Two defendants’ trials separated in 1994 murder case

Editor’s note: This corrects the second to last paragraph.

The trial of a Ladera Ranch woman and her former boyfriend accused of killing a wealthy Newport Beach man was split into two trials Monday, according to Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy.

Nanette Johnston Packard, 45, and Eric Andrew Naposki, 44, are accused of plotting to kill Bill McLaughlin in 1994.

Murphy said he couldn’t discuss why the trials were separated.

Almost 20 years ago, McLaughlin responded to Packard’s singles advertisement asking for a companion who could provide for her financially. About two years into their relationship, she started secretly seeing Naposki, a former National Football League player and bouncer at a local club, prosecutors said in 2009.

According to police, Packard gave Naposki a copy of McLaughlin’s house key, which he used to enter the residence after work. Naposki then allegedly shot McLaughlin six times.

The motive was thought to be financial because upon McLaughlin’s death, Packard would receive free rent for a year on beachfront property and a $150,000 inheritance, according to prosecutors.

Packard was also convicted of forging McLaughlin’s business books before and after his death, and stealing thousands.

The jury selection for Naposki starts Wednesday, Murphy said, and opening statements should start June 13. Packard’s trial will follow shortly thereafter.

— Joanna Clay