The Orange County Register reports that Nanatte Johnston Packard McNeal, the woman accused of killing for former boyfriend and Newport Beach multimillionare William Francis McLaughlin, was arraigned yesterday in Orange County Superior Court.
Packard McNeal, who was a suspect from the outset due to the fact that she stood to earn $1 million in life insurance benefits from McLaughlin’s death and and that she had been accused of writing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of checks drawn from his accounts, was arrested on Wednesday on a warrant formally charging her with the 1994 murder of McLaughlin.
Also charged is former NFL linebacker, Eric Naposki, Packard McNeal’s alleged co-conspirator and secret lover at the time of the McLaughlin’s murder. He was arrested Wednesday at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut and is in the process of being extradited to Orange County for his arraignment.
While Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy is reluctant to reveal what new evidence was discovered leading to the arrests so many years later, he did state that a re-examination of the evidence led him to file charges at this time.
Prosecutors believe that Packard McNeal provided Naposki with a key to McLaughlin’s residence as well as information as to when McLaughlin will be home. On the evening of December 15, 1994, prosecutors allege that Naposki entered McLaughlin’s home and fired six shots from a 9mm handgun into McLaughlin’s chest while he was standing in his kitchen, then walked over to the Thunderbird bar where he was working as a bouncer and reported for work. The gun was never located by investigators.
Packard McNeal and Naposki are also being charged with the special circumstance of committing the murder for financial gain which, if found true, could subject them to a possible life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Packard McNeal, now the mother of four children including an newborn infant, is in custody pending a bail review hearing in Orange County Superior Court – Harbor Justice on MAy 26. Her criminal defense lawyer arraignment has been continued to June 8.