An Orange County woman convicted of first-degree murder in the death of her millionaire boyfriend was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility parole today while her co-conspirator secret lover, former NFL linebacker Eric Naposki, had his sentencing delayed until Aug. 10.
Nanette Ann Packard-McNeal, 46, received her punishment for the this morning from Judge William Froeberg at the Orange County courthouse in Santa Ana. Authorities say Packard-McNeal was romantically involved with both McLaughlin and Naposki, 45, and the pair plotted to kill McLaughlin in order to reap the benefits of his savings account and $1-million life insurance policy.
Naposki refused to appear in court today. Instead, he stood in a holding cell and listened and spoke via microphone.
"He is a coward for not being here today and facing the family of the victim today," said Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy. "They have a right to be heard by him. This is his final blaze of no class."
Naposki's sentencing was delayed this morning after his attorney asked the judge for a continuance.
"I'm not particularly thrilled about this," Froeberg said. "Ten months later and we still are not proceeding on this matter, after this there will be no more continuances."
Murphy told reporters Naposki is planning to ask for a new trial and has come up with a "fifth story" about McLaughlin's murder, but says he is confident that the request for a new trial "will go nowhere."
Packard-McNeal -- who was wearing a pink sweater, black skirt and sat stone-faced during today's hearing-- was called a "a true black window" by the dead man's brother, Patrick McLaughlin, as his victim impact statement was read in court by a family friend.
Kim McLaughlin, the victim's daughter, also addressed the court along with her sister, Jenny, and said she is grateful Packard-McNeal's web of lies has finally caught up to her.
"He was good to you for four years, you had no right to do this," Kim McLaughlin said. "What a despicable, disgusting, disgrace you are to your family and the children you dared to bring into this world."
Naposki was convicted of the murder in July 2011. When the verdict was read at that time, Naposki shook his head, then smiled and winked at his fiancee, saying “Don't worry, babe, everyone makes mistakes, including those 12,” according to Susan Kang Schroeder of the Orange County District Attorney's Office, who was near the defendant.
The panel found true a special circumstance allegation that Naposki committed the murder for financial gain and that he personally discharged a firearm, which would have made him eligible for the death penalty, although ultimately the state did not seek the death penalty.
The slaying had been one of the more perplexing unsolved homicides in Orange County until Naposki and Packard-McNeal were arrested in 2009.
Naposki played three games with the New England Patriots in 1988 and one each with the Patriots and Indianapolis Colts in 1989. He and Packard-McNeal killed McLaughlin to steal the $1.5 million he had in savings and collect on a $1-million life insurance policy. Murphy said during Naposki's trial that he had shot McLaughlin six times in the chest.
In January, a separate jury found Packard-McNeal guilty of murder with special circumstances for murder for financial gain. Murphy said Packard-McNeal was a woman who adored the finer things in life including money and fancy cars, but says now her only luxuries are the items offered to inmates.
"She has to use contraband for her hair dye and she has to grind up magazines to be used for make-up," Murphy explained. "She looks haggard; jail has not been kind to her. She got what she deserved."