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Woman sentenced to life for helping ex-NFL LB murder her lover

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- A Southern California woman was sentenced to life in prison Friday for helping her lover, former NFL linebacker Eric Naposki, murder her live-in millionaire boyfriend for financial gain nearly two decades ago.

Nanette Ann Packard, 46, was convicted of murder earlier this year in the cold case slaying of William Francis McLaughlin, who made his fortune in medical technologies and was shot dead in his kitchen in December 1994.

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Packard was living with the much older McLaughlin when he was murdered, but the divorced mother of two was also dating Naposki, a former linebacker for the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts who worked as a bouncer at a nearby nightclub.

Naposki appeared in five games from 1988 to 1989.

Packard convinced him to kill McLaughlin, prosecutors said. She stood to collect $1 million on a life insurance policy and receive $150,000 and free rent for a year at one of his homes if McLaughlin died, authorities said.

Packard ended up stealing at least $500,000 from McLaughlin's estate both before and after his death, Matt Murphy, deputy district attorney, said during trial.

She pleaded guilty to grand theft in 1996 and was sentenced to a year in jail, but the murder case went cold. Investigators long suspected Packard and Naposki, however, and new technology to identify the weapon along with a new witness allowed prosecutors to file murder charges in 2009.

Naposki, 45, was convicted of first-degree murder last July. His sentencing has been postponed until Aug. 10.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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