Skip to content

First day of 17-year-old murder trial not good for former NFL linebacker

eric-naposki

On Sunday, we told you the tale of Eric Naposki, who played for the Pats and Colts in 1988 and 1989 — and who allegedly shot and killed his lover’s multimillionaire boyfriend in 1994.

Nearly 17 years later, Naposki finally is on trial.  On Monday, the lawyers gave their opening statements.  According to the OC Register, Naposki “shook his head, snorted, smiled, laughed and added inaudible commentary” while prosecutor Matt Murphy addressed the jury.  Wisely, Murphy pointed out Naposki’s behavior, and Murphy told the jury, “You’re going to hold this guy accountable.”

Though Naposki’s antics don’t amount to evidence, the manner in which the jury filters and weighs the proof introduced against him will be influenced by their impression of Naposki.  That’s why every lawyer who has a client in the presence of a judge and/or a jury needs to control that client, explaining to him or her that, no matter what is said by anyone in the courtroom, there should be no reaction.

Sometimes, it’s easier said than done.  But the lawyer always needs to try.  If Naposki’s lawyer tried, then Naposki’s lawyer to date has failed.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Rumor Mill
6 Responses to “First day of 17-year-old murder trial not good for former NFL linebacker”
  1. Brian says: Jun 21, 2011 12:16 AM

    Mike, I don’t know whether Naposki is guilty or innocent. I hope he gets justice so that if he is truly innocent he walks or truly guilty he walks behind bars.

    My question is about criminal courtroom strategy. You wrote: “That’s why every lawyer who has a client in the presence of a judge and/or a jury needs to control that client, explaining to him or her that, no matter what is said by anyone in the courtroom, there should be no reaction.”

    Really? Is that the response of an innocent person when his freedom is on the line and someone who looks and sounds very authoritative is making accusations against him? I know the lawyers and the judge want nice, docile defendants, but a truly innocent man would be coming out of his skin. He would be incensed that he was even arrested and charged, much less put on trial. So, if a juror saw a person reacting angrily or at least with agitation to each accusation, wouldn’t that make him a more sympathetic figure to the jury?

    Put another way: aren’t most criminal defendants convicted and don’t most of them sit there with no reaction?

    I agree that “smiling and laughing” are not going to help Napolski. I just wonder if “no reaction” will help the defendant just as little.

    Set me straight, counselor.

  2. fin72 says: Jun 21, 2011 7:50 AM

    Why is it not surprising that this guy’s last name ends in “ski”? Bring on the Polock jokes.

  3. haroldballsagna says: Jun 21, 2011 8:23 AM

    Why have a trial? He snorted so he’s automatically guilty.

  4. WingT says: Jun 21, 2011 8:35 AM

    What did he snort?

  5. cmstrick says: Jun 21, 2011 9:30 AM

    I don’t know why he snorted. I don’t even care if he’s guilty. What I want to know is, How can you kill someone in 1994 and not go to trial until 2011?

  6. richm2256 says: Jun 21, 2011 9:47 AM

    Guilty or not, if I’m on trial for murder, I don’t think I’m going to be smiling or laughing very much.

    But hey, that’s just me.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!