SANTA ANA (CBS) — An Orange County mother of three was convicted of first-degree murder Monday for persuading her lover to kill her wealthy boyfriend, so she could loot his savings and cash in a $1 million life insurance policy.
Nanette Ann Packard McNeal, 46, was convicted for the Dec. 15, 1994 shooting of 55-year-old Bill McLaughlin. Her lover, former NFL linebacker Eric Andrew Naposki, 45, was convicted earlier of killing McLaughlin and is set to be sentenced in March.
Jurors in McNeal’s trial also found true a special-circumstance allegation of murder committed for financial gain.
Packard McNeal, whose name was Nanette Johnston at the time of the murder, had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in jail in 1996 for stealing about $500,000 from McLaughlin. Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy argued that Packard McNeal used Naposki to kill McLaughlin so they could steal his $1.5 million in savings and cash in a $1 million life insurance policy.
Murphy said Packard McNeal stood to gain even more money because she was named trustee over McLaughlin’s estate.
Deputy Public Defender Mick Hill said Packard McNeal would not kill her “golden goose” to be with her pauper lover, Naposki and that McLaughlin was worth more to her alive than dead.
Packard McNeal met McLaughlin through a personals ad in 1991 shortly after his divorce from his wife Sue in 1990, Murphy said. McLaughlin gave Packard McNeal a ring with a sizable diamond, but the two never set a wedding date.
At some point, however, Packard McNeal started dating Naposki behind her boyfriend’s back, Murphy said.
According to Murphy, Naposki and Packard McNeal went to her son’s soccer game the night of the murder and hurried back from Walnut to Orange County, skipping a trophy presentation following the championship game, which went into triple overtime.
Packard McNeal went shopping that night, while the killer used two keys to get through a pedestrian access gate in the gated community and then through the front door, Murphy said.
With the victim’s son, Kevin, upstairs, the killer walked into the home and shot McLaughlin six times in the chest, Murphy said.
The killer left behind an original key to the pedestrian access gate, and a copy of the house key was left stuck in the door, Murphy said, adding that Packard McNeal didn’t have her pedestrian gate key after the murder, and Naposki had a duplicate key made at an Ace Hardware near his apartment in Tustin.
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