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Woman tried for having lover kill rich boyfriend

January 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Opening statements were made Monday in the trial of a woman accused of orchestrating the murder of her millionaire boyfriend for money and using her lover to do it. Dramatic allegations were made in court.

It was a fairly packed courtroom, including some of the victim's family members. The trial got under way more than 17 years after the murder.

Nanette Johnston, who also goes by Nanette Packard, is accused of living off of her 50-year-old boyfriend, William McLaughlin. McLaughlin was a Newport Beach millionaire.

Johnston is accused of convincing her lover, former NFL linebacker Eric Naposki, to kill McLaughlin in his Newport Beach home in December 1994.

The prosecutor alleges Johnston provided Naposki with the keys to house and McLaughlin's schedule.

McLaughlin was shot six times in his kitchen. His disabled son, who was home upstairs at the time, heard the shots and found his father's body and called 911.

Naposki was found guilty of murder in July and is currently awaiting sentencing.

The prosecutor alleges that Johnston conspired with Naposki over the motive of money.

"She had a $1 million life insurance policy on Bill McLaughlin, which of course because it's a life insurance policy is payable only upon his death," said Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy.

Murphy says a day before the murder, Johnston wrote a check for $250,000 from one of McLaughlin's accounts and deposited it in her account.

In 1995 Johnston was charged with grand theft for stealing close to $500,000 from McLaughlin's account before and after his murder. Johnston pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in jail.

The murder investigation went cold until it was reopened and charges were filed in 2009.

Johnston's defense attorney told jurors Monday that Johnston had no reason to want McLaughlin dead. He claims the two were engaged and that McLaughlin loved Johnston's two children. The defense also said Johnston loved living the high life, which would end if McLaughlin died, since Johnston had no money, no skills and no job experience.

"If you're motivated by money, you're not going to kill the 'golden goose' to be with the pauper," said Johnston's defense attorney, public defender Mick Hill.

Naposki was broke at the time and working as a bar bouncer. Naposki is expected to be sentenced by the end of January.

Johnston's trial is expected to last 10 days.