SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A former NFL linebacker was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Friday for killing his lover’s wealthy live-in boyfriend almost two decades ago.
Eric Andrew Naposki, 45, was convicted last year of shooting 55-year-old Bill McLaughlin with his 9mm Beretta at the victim’s Newport Beach home.
But Naposki still maintains a claim of innocence.
“Guilty by association, your honor, is not guilty,” Naposki said in court.
At the time, McLaughlin lived with Nanette Johnston, Naposki’s love interest.
Johnston, 46, allegedly told Naposki they would benefit from a $1 million life insurance policy and free rent at McLaughlin’s beach house.
“It’s important to note that his new story is essentially he knew Nanette was planning to murder Bill McLaughlin. He knew that this person that he named was willing to do it. He then introduced the two of them. He was present when money was exchanged, they used his gun to commit the murder, but I had nothing to do with it,” Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy said.
The case went cold until 2009 when both Naposki and Johnston were arrested.
“I’m appalled that you can take an innocent person like this and actually make them into a killer,” Naposki said to the judge. “No fingerprints, no DNA, no witnesses, what do you need to prove your innocence?”
Johnston was convicted in January and was sentenced in May to life in prison without the possibility of parole for her role in the murder.