Teen killer, Pamela Smart's student and lover, up for parole
FILE - In this 1991 file photo Pamela Smart, testifies in Rockingham County Superior Court in Exeter, N.H. Smart was convicted of conspiring with her 15 year-old lover, William "Billy" Flynn, to kill her 24 year-old husband, Greggory Smart, on May 1, 1990, in Derry, N.H. Smart is serving a life without parole sentence. Flynn pleaded guilty to killing her husband and has a parole hearing scheduled for Thursday, March 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
Patrick Randall, left, with his attorney Mark Stevens answers questions from Gregory Smart's family during his parole hearing, Thursday, April 9, 2015, in Concord, N.H. Randall was granted parole for his role in the killing of Gregory Smart in 1990. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
This undated photo of Pamela Smart and her husband Gregory Smart was taken on their wedding day. Pamela Smart is awaiting trial for convincing three teenagers to kill her husband who was shot and killed one week before their first wedding anniversary. (AP Photo)
William Flynn appearing at Rockingham Superior Court in Brentwood, N.H., Friday, Jan. 25, 2008. Flynn, who is serving a 28 years-to-life prison term ,for killing his lover's husband as a teenager in the notorious Pamela Smart murder case, is seeking a sentence reduction. He met Pamela Smart in a self-esteem class she helped teach at his high school and they began a sexual relationship. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, Pool)
Twenty-five years after he shot and killed Gregg Smart, William Flynn could be granted parole Thursday.
William Flynn, center talking to his defense lawyer Cathy Green, right, at Rockingham Superior Court in Brentwood, N.H., Friday, Jan. 25, 2008. Flynn, who is serving a 28 years-to-life prison term ,for killing his lover's husband as a teenager in the notorious Pamela Smart murder case, is seeking a sentence reduction. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, Pool)
William Flynn, 17, looks at state police photo of Gregory Smart the way he was found in the Derry, N.H. condominium shot in the head last May. Flynn was testifying in Exeter, N.H., March 12, 1991 in the Pamela Smart murder conspiracy trial. The widow is charged with planning the murder of her husband with her teeage lover. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
This photo of Pamela Smart was used as evidence in her murder conspiracy trial that ended in her being found guilty and sentenced to life without parole. The photo, taken by a friend of hers, was given to her teen-age lover to be developed, according to the prosecution. (AP Photo/ho)
Pamela Smart comes into court at the Rockingham Superior Court House in Exeter, New Hampshire on Friday, March 22, 1991, where she was found guilty on all three charges related to her involvement in the murder of her husband Gregory Smart. Smart was convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole. (AP Photo/Lisa Bul)
Pamela Smart is seen in this photo taken from video courtesy of WMUR television of Manchester, N.H. at the corrections facility in Bedford Hills, N.Y. Smart is serving a life without parole sentence after being convicted in 1991 of recruiting her teenager lover and his friends to murder her husband. After 20 years in prison Smart insists she had nothing to do with plotting the death. (AP Photo)
Pamela Smart walks past cameras at Rockingham County Superior Court in Exeter, New Hampshire on Thursday, March 21, 1991, as she waits for a verdict in her murder conspiracy trial. The jury was sequestered on Thursday, after deliberating for 9 hours without reaching a verdict. (AP Photo/Jon Pierre Lasseigne)
Pamela Smart and her attorney Mark Sisti listen to closing arguments in her murder conspiracy trial in Exeter, New Hampshire on Wednesday, March 20, 1991, following 11 days of testimony. Deliberation began on Wednesday in the trial of the 23-year-old schoolteacher who is accused of coercing her teenage student lover into killing her husband last year. (AP Photo/Jon Pierre Lasseigne)
FILE - In this March 18, 1991 file photo, Pamela Smart, 23, takes the oath before sitting in the witness stand in Rockingham County Superior Court in Exeter, N.H. Even after 20 years, the New Hampshire school aide convicted of persuading her teenage lover to kill her husband insists she had nothing to do with plotting the death. Smart was a 22-year-old high school media coordinator and Flynn was 15 when he killed Gregg Smart at the couple's Derry, N.H., home. (AP Photo/Jon Pierre Lasseigne,File)
Raymond Fowler, shown in this June 18, 2004, police photo, paroled after serving more than a decade for helping school aide Pamela Smart kill her husband, will face more prison time the state parole board decided Tuesday, July 27, 2004. While not specifically revoking Raymond Fowler's parole, the three-member board found he was guilty of violating parole by showing up at his girlfriend's home in Salisbury, Mass., last month, knocking on a door and window and letting air out of her car tire. Police issued a summons. (AP Photo courtesy of New Hampshire State Prison))
William Smart, right, watches as his daughter-in-law, Pamela Smart, walks into Rockingham County Superior Court in Exeter, New Hampshire on Thursday, March 14, 1991. Smart is charged with planning the murder of her husband, Gregory, who was shot in the head in May. The parents William and Judith Smart have only spoken harshly of their daughter-in-law. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
William Flynn, 17, breaks down and cries, in Exeter, N.H., March 12, 1991 as he tells jurors how he shot Gregory Smart in the head last May. Flynn said he shot Smart because his wife Pamela Smart asked him to, and that he loved her. The widow Smart is charged with murder conspiracy. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
FILE - In this March 13, 1991 file photo, William Flynn, testifies on his 17th birthday how he shot Gregory Smart in the head and killed him, in court in Exeter, N.H. Smarts' widow Pamela Smart was convicted and sentenced to life without parole for conspiring with Flynn to kill her husband. Flynn pleaded guilty to killing her husband and has a parole hearing scheduled for Thursday, March 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
Pamela Smart, 23, a schoolteacher charged with planning the murder of her husband, leaves Rockingham County Superior Court in Exeter, New Hampshire on Friday, March 11, 1991. William Flynn, 17, one of Smartâs students charged with the killing, testified on Tuesday that his teacher-lover goaded him into killing her husband. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Pamela Smart, left, follows jurors out of her former home in Derry, New Hampshire on Monday, March 5, 1991, where her husband was shot in May. Smart is charged with planning the murder of her husband with three of her teenage students from Winnacunnet High School where she was a media instructor. (AP Photo/Jon Pierre Lasseigne)
Pamela Smart, 22, being led out of Rockingham County Superior Court and sent back to jail, Monday Aug. 11, 1990 after a judge ruled that there is sufficient evidence to continue holding her. Smart, a teacher for Winnacunnet Regional School District, has been charged as an accomplice to her husbands murder. (AP Photo/Marc Mcgeehan)
Vance Lattime leaves Rockingham County Superior Court in Exeter, N.H., after Judge Douglas Gray called for a break at the end of the day on Wednesday, March 7, 1991. Lattime will return to the witness stand Friday after a one-day break in the trial. Lattime said he took the gun used to kill Gregory Smart from his father's bedroom and he drove the getaway car. The widow Pamela Smart is charged with accomplice to murder for planning with three teenage students to kill her husband. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Pamela Smart leaves Rockingham County Superior Court in Exeter, New Hampshire on Friday, March 3, 1991, after Judge Douglas Gary unexpectedly recessed the trial until Monday. Smart, 23, is charged with planning the murder of her husband. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- When 16-year-old Billy Flynn gunned down the husband of his high school instructor and lover, Pamela Smart, in 1990, the trial became an instant tabloid sensation. Its lurid details aired gavel-to-gavel on television years before the O.J. Simpson spectacle and spawned movies and books.
Twenty-five years after Gregg Smart's killing, Pamela Smart remains in prison serving life without the possibility of parole and Flynn makes his first bid for parole Thursday, his 41st birthday.
Flynn pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified in Smart's 1991 trial that she threatened to break up with him if he didn't kill her husband. Flynn was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison, minus credit for pretrial incarceration. Here's a look at some key details in the case:
According to trial testimony, Smart was 22 and one of Flynn's instructors in a self-awareness program at Winnicunnet High School in Hampton when she seduced the 15-year-old Flynn. She told him she needed her husband killed because she feared she would lose everything, including her dog and furniture, if she divorced Gregg Smart as their wedding anniversary approached.
Flynn said he and three cohorts bungled an attempt to kill Smart in April, when they got lost on the way there. But on May 1, 1990, he and 18-year-old Patrick Randall entered the Smarts' Derry condominium and forced Gregory Smart to his knees in the foyer. As Randall held a knife to the man's throat, Flynn fired a hollow-point bullet into his head.
To this day, Pamela Smart denies knowing about the plot. But the state's star witness, a teenage intern in whom Smart confided, secretly recorded her after the killing saying, "If you tell the (expletive) truth, you'll send me to the slammer for the rest of my (expletive) life."
Smart was convicted March 22, 1991, of being an accomplice to first-degree murder, conspiracy and witness tampering. Randall got 28 years to life; he comes up for parole in April. Two other teenagers served prison sentences and have been released.
Smart's trial was the first in the country to be televised nationally from start to finish, her trial lawyer, Mark Sisti, said ruefully.
"Her trial turned into the ultimate daytime TV drama, and the witnesses were dressing up for it and performing rather than testifying," Sisti said.
Hers was also one of the first high-profile trials involving a teacher-student sex affair.
Stories of the trial and Flynn's testimony about their affair were picked up internationally, and cameras caught every graphic image and detail.
"We're a voyeuristic society," said veteran trial lawyer and University of New Hampshire School of Law professor Buzz Scherr. "We like looking at other people's dirty laundry."
And, Scherr noted: "This one had it all."
Parole files in New Hampshire are not public record, and Flynn's lawyer, Cathy Green, declined to say what Flynn would tell the board.
Seven years ago, testifying on his motion for a reduced sentence, a tearful Flynn took full responsibility for his actions and apologized.
"I promise you I will carry this guilt and remorse with me every day for the rest of my life," he said.
Gregory Smart's father, William, told Flynn then that he might be prepared to see him go free when Flynn reached 40 but that he wasn't ready yet. William Smart has since died.
Flynn married while behind bars, has a teen stepdaughter and has earned his GED and electrician's helper license.
"This never would have happened if it wasn't for Pam Smart," said attorney Paul Maggiotto, who prosecuted Smart. "It was Smart's manipulation of Flynn that caused this crime to occur."
Flynn's age and testimony against Smart were taken into account at sentencing.
"I desperately want you to know I'm not that weak person anymore," Flynn said in 2008.
Smart has been at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for women in New York since her transfer for unspecified security reasons in March 1993. Her friend and spokeswoman, Eleanor Pam, told The Associated Press that Smart is not taking a position on Flynn's parole bid but chafes at her life sentence without the chance at freedom that the triggerman is getting.
Smart told her: "If they look at Flynn, they really should take a look at me."
Pam said that while Smart acknowledges the affair with Flynn led to the series of events leading up to her husband's death, she maintains she didn't plan it.
WHAT TO EXPECT THURSDAY
Flynn, who is serving out his sentence in Maine, will not be present at the parole board hearing. He will address the board on speakerphone. Gregg Smart's family members and friends have a right to make victim impact statements. State prosecutors will also weigh in.
The three board members are expected to confer among themselves without leaving the hearing room at the state prison in Concord and then render a decision. If parole is granted, Flynn would not be freed before his parole eligibility date of June 4 and only after his final parole plan is approved by the board.