May 21, 2009

Girlfriend, NFL player accused of murder

The former live-in girlfriend of a millionaire California businessman and an ex-NFL linebacker have been charged with killing him 14 years ago, police say.

William Francis McLaughlin, 55, whose company in the 1980s invented a device that filters plasma from blood, was shot to death Dec. 15, 1994, at his Newport Beach home.

Authorities said they considered McLaughlin's girlfriend, Nanette Johnston, now about 45, and Eric Naposki, now 44, who played in the late 1980s for the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts, as prime suspects in the killing but could not prove their alleged involvement, the Orange County Register reported.

Naposki, was accused of being the gunman who pumped six bullets into McLaughlin's chest at close range in the downstairs area of his two-story home in what police described as murder for money. The gun reportedly never was found.

Johnston and Naposki were reported romantically involved at the time.

Johnston was said to have been in line for $1 million in life insurance and also was accused of writing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of checks drawn from his accounts.

Officials did not say what led to the long-delayed indictments.