What Happened to Eric Naposki's Gun?

[Moxley Confidential] The question of the missing weapon comes pretty close to a Columbo moment in the Naposki murder trial

Frizzell: "You made it pretty clear that you had only one gun."

Naposki: "Uh-huh."

Frizzell: "That's a big discrepancy."

Eric Naposki at trial
H. Lorren Au Jr./Orange County Register/pool photos

Eric Naposki at trial

Naposki: "Uh-huh. . . . Is this important?"

Voth: "We have to verify your story."

Frizzell: "The way I see it, we have a missing 9 mm Beretta handgun."

Naposki may have panicked. He offered more brazen historical revisionism. "You guys asked me if I had any guns," he told the officers. "I was upfront and honest with you about it. I said, yeah."

Jurors listened intently to the interviews, which contain Naposki's angry cries of innocence even while he's being deceitful. At one point, when caught in a lie about his guns, he said, "I misled you—big deal. Slap me on the wrist."

The panel of citizens eventually will have to ask itself: Why did Naposki distance himself from owning a 9 mm exactly 50 days before the public learned what caliber bullets hit McLaughlin?

Better yet: At a time when only one person—the killer—knew he'd used an Italian-made Beretta 92F, why, out of the hundreds and hundreds of handguns in the world, was Naposki lying about owning precisely that one?

It's a question that would prompt Columbo to utter, "What a coincidence!"

This column appeared in print as "Eric, Get Your Gun: Missing murder-weapon discrepancies loom over Eric Naposki's trial."

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