Fourteen years into his retirement, Newport Beach is looking to put former police Det. Thomas Voth back on the clock.
As Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Matt Murphy prepares to put two former lovers on trial in the 1994 murder of local businessman Bill McLaughlin, city officials Tuesday are expected to approve a contract to pay the case's lead detective for trial preparation.
"Thus far, Mr. Voth has spent a large number of uncompensated hours … on the pre-trial preparation for this case," the staff report for Tuesday's meeting reads. "As the trial draws near, he will be required to perform additional pre-trial preparation and be present during the entire trial."
Under the contract, Voth would be paid the same rate as a part-time police officer, $48.83 an hour, about $47,000 altogether.
Voth was the lead detective on the Dec. 15, 1994, murder. McLaughlin's son, who was upstairs in his room, heard gunshots and found his father shot dead in their Newport Beach kitchen.
McLaughlin, a multimillionaire, had been dating and financially supporting Nanette Packard, police said. Prosecutors allege that Packard was also seeing Eric Naposki, a former NFL linebacker, on the side.
Packard is accused of persuading Naposki to kill McLaughlin and giving him a key to the Newport Beach home. Naposki worked just a few hundred yards away as a bouncer at a local bar at the time. He was late for work the day McLaughlin was killed, authorities said.
According to prosecutors, Packard would have gotten $1 million in life insurance and $150,000 from McLaughlin's will in the event of his death.
In the preliminary hearing for the pair last year, Voth testified that they had been suspects throughout the investigation. Not until prosecutors took another look at the case last year, however, did they believe they had enough evidence to prove their case.
The tipping point came through two anonymous phone calls after the killing, including one in 1998, two years after Voth had retired, authorities said. When the callers were contacted last year, they agreed to testify. Packard and Naposki were arrested and charged with murder for profit.
Packard and Naposki had broken up years before their arrests. Naposki was living on the East Coast and Packard was raising a family with her husband in Ladera Ranch.
They are expected to go on trial later this year or early next year. With a sentencing enhancement of killing for money, each faces life without parole if convicted.