Eric Andrew Naposki, Ex-NFL Linebacker, Draws a Penalty: Life in Prison for 1994 Murder

In the days leading up to today's sentencing hearing, Eric Andrew Naposki told anyone who would listen he did not murder a wealthy Newport Beach businessman in 1994--and plenty of media outlets obliged the former NFL linebacker.

But it was justice, prosecutor Matt Murphy and the family of the late Bill McLaughlin that won when time ran out. Naposki, 45, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole--plus five more years in state prison.

"Our dad planned his life around family time: Sunday brunches, family dinners and family vacations," Kimberly McLaughlin said in a victim-impact statement presented in court. "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."

OC Weekly Eric Naposki archives

Though Naposki played with the New England Patriots and Indianaoplis Colts, he was a 27-year-old nightclub doorman who couldn't afford to buy a car and rented a modest Tustin studio apartment in 1994. McLaughlin, who lived 131 yards from the club, was a 55-year-old millionaire, earning more than $100,000-per-month thanks to his successful medical technology business.

Their connection to one another: Nanette Ann Johnston.

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949girl topcommenter

I'm going to say that he is probably guilty.  But from my reading and tv viewing of this case (which makes me an expert lol) it did sound like there were a lot of holes in the case and that he probably stood a reasonable chance of winning an appeal.  His idiotic behavior has probably ruined any chance he has though.  And now his confession of "knowing who the real killer is".  I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Nanette Johnson's case comes back.  I just have a feeling about that.  I think it's the amount of time that passed from the murder to arrest and the lack of physical evidence tying her to the case kind of made it a weak case.  Then again they had Matt Murphy prosecuting them.   But do I think they are both guilty?  Probably but still a tiny bit of reasonable doubt. 


Eric Naposki ... lunkhead poster boy for not-too-smart alibis. Duuuh ...


"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. "


These 'sentence enhancements' and shit are ridiculous. How else are you going to kill someone besides using a 'deadly weapon'? And 'financial gain' is one of, oh, about 4 or 5 reasons to commit murder -- and I'm sure they all have a 'special circumstance' too. 

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