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Entries in Nanette Johnston (3)

Monday
Jan232012

Woman Convicted in Millionaire’s Love Triangle Murder

Hemera/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Nanette Johnston was found guilty Monday on charges that she plotted to have her lover kill her far older, millionaire fiancé so she could collect on an insurance policy and other assets.

On Dec. 15, 1994, Bill McLaughlin, a 55-year-old inventor and pharmaceutical mogul, was shot six times by an intruder in his Newport Beach, Calif., home, inside a wealthy, gated community. He was living with Johnston, then an attractive 25-year-old he’d met after he answered her ad in a dating magazine.

No arrests were made at the time, but 15 years later prosecutors re-examined the evidence.

They charged Johnston, now 43, and her lover, Eric Naposki, a former NFL linebacker, with murder. The prosecutor alleged she put Naposki up to the crime so they could make millions off McLaughlin’s death.

Johnston, at the time, stood to benefit from a $1 million life insurance policy, $150,000 from McLaughlin’s will and access to his beach house.

The defense said Johnston had a solid alibi and that Naposki acted alone, out of jealousy; Naposki was convicted of first-degree murder last year.

He was scheduled to be sentenced last Friday but the judge agreed to a request by Naposki’s lawyers to delay the sentencing until May.  He could face life in prison without parole.

The jury took just five days to make their decision in Johnston’s case after hearing closing arguments last Thursday.

“[The prosecutor's] pinnacle evidence of this case, saying my client was involved, is horse manure,” said Johnston’s defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Mick Hill.

The defense acknowledged Johnston’s affair with Naposki, but argued Johnston was an intelligent woman who would never leave her wealthy fiance.

“Hate her as much as you want for being a liar, a cheater and a thief, but you can’t hold her guilty based on that,” Hill argued.

But Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy argued otherwise. “You just listened to two hours of crap in an Irish accent,” he said after Hill, who was born and raised in Ireland, finished his closing arguments.

“Anyone who commits murder like this is clever, diabolical, evil,” Murphy said, at another point calling Johnston “a con artist and rip-off queen.”

The prosecution said Johnston planned the murder, giving Naposki the key he used to enter McLaughlin’s home.

And, they said, Johnston pleaded guilty to stealing half a million dollars from McLaughlin before and after the murder.

“Bill McLaughlin is worth a thousand times more to her dead than he is alive,” said Murphy. “She would become the trustee and has the money. She becomes the golden goose.”

Johnston and Naposki will be sentenced on May 18.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan202012

Thief or Killer? Closing Arguments Heard in Nanette Johnston Trial

Hemera/Thinkstock(SANTA ANA, Calif.) -- The jury heard closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Nanette Johnston, who's accused of plotting to have her lover kill her far older, millionaire fiance nearly two decades ago so she could collect on an insurance policy and other assets.

“[The prosecutor's] pinnacle evidence of this case, saying my client was involved, is horse manure,” Johnston’s defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Mick Hill, said.

“You just listened to two hours of crap in an Irish accent,” Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy said after Hill, who was born and raised in Ireland, finished.

“Anyone who commits murder like this is clever, diabolical, evil,” Murphy said, at another point calling Johnston “a con artist and rip off queen.”

On Dec. 15, 1994, Bill McLaughlin, a 55-year-old inventor and pharmaceutical mogul, was shot six times by an intruder in his Newport Beach, Calif., home. He was living with Johnston, then a 25-year-old he’d met after he answered her ad in a dating magazine.

No arrests were made at the time, but 15 years later, prosecutors re-examined the evidence. They charged Johnston and her lover, Eric Naposki, a former NFL linebacker, with murder.  The prosecutor alleged she put Naposki up to the crime so they could make millions off McLaughlin’s death.  Johnston would benefit from a $1 million life insurance policy, $150,000 from McLaughlin’s will and access to his beach house.

The defense said Johnston had a solid alibi and that Naposki acted alone, out of jealousy.

Naposki was convicted of first-degree murder last year.  He could get life in prison without parole when he is sentenced on Friday.

The defense acknowledged the affair but argued Johnston was a smart woman who would never leave her wealthy fiance.

“Hate her as much as you want for being a liar, a cheater and a thief, but you can’t hold her guilty based on that,” Hill said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan102012

Woman on Trial in 1993 Killing of Older Millionaire Boyfriend

Hemera/Thinkstock(SANTA ANA, Calif.) -- Jury selection is underway in the trial of Nanette Johnston, who is accused of plotting to have her lover kill her far older, millionaire fiancé nearly two decades ago so she could collect on an insurance policy and other assets.

Johnston, 25, was the live-in girlfriend of inventor William McLaughlin, 55, of Newport Beach, in a wealthy, gated community in California.

Johnston, a mother of two, met McLaughlin after he responded to an ad she placed in a dating magazine for wealthy men.  Billing herself as a classy and, “well-educated woman who knows how to take care of her man,” she caught his attention. They developed a relationship and she moved in with him.

The pharmaceutical mogul was killed on the night of Dec. 15, 1993, by an intruder who shot him six times in the chest inside his home.

At the time, Johnston was away from the house at her son’s soccer game, but prosecutors believe she gave her lover -- former NFL linebacker Eric Naproski -- a key to the house so he could enter and commit the killing, according to a report in the Orange County Register.

Police weren’t able to bring a case because they lacked evidence, but they reopened the investigation in 2009, re-interviewing witnesses and re-examining evidence. They then charged Johnston, now 46, with putting Naproski up to the killing.

She has denied the allegations, and her attorney said she would never have left her wealthy fiancé, adding that Naproski acted alone out of jealousy.

But prosecutors say Johnston had everything to gain, including a $1 million life insurance policy, $150,000 from McLaughlin’s will, and access to his beach house.

The woman had already been in trouble with the law before regarding McLaughlin’s finances. According to ABC News affiliate KABC-TV in Los Angeles, Johnston -- who is also known as Nanette Packard -- was charged with grand theft in 1995 for allegedly stealing about $500,000 from McLaughlin’s account before and after his murder.  She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year in jail.

Naproski was convicted last year of McLaughlin’s first-degree murder. He could get life in prison without parole when he is sentenced on Jan. 20.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio