Pamela Smart is serving a life sentence for the 1989 murder of her husband Gregory Smart. Pamela Smart didn’t kill him, however. William ‘Billy’ Flynn, now a 41-year-old man, pulled the trigger on the gun that killed Greg Smart. Flynn was just 16 at the time.
So why is Pamela Smart still in prison if William Flynn killed her husband? And why was William Flynn paroled on Thursday?
Pamela Smart was sentenced for being the mastermind behind her husband’s murder. She worked at a high school in Hampton, New Hampshire, and Billy Flynn was one of her students–and her teenage lover.
According to a report from the New York Post, the trial was a media circus and one of the first high-profile cases about a sexual affair between an instructor and student. It inspired the Joyce Maynard novel To Die For, which in turn was made into a movie starring Nicole Kidman.
Man who killed Pamela Smart's lover as teen gets parole after 25 years in prison http://t.co/tjGStELhZF
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) March 13, 2015
William Flynn and three of his teenage friends carried out the plot–arranged by Pamela Smart–to murder Greg Smart. Pam Smart had convinced Billy Flynn they could be together if her husband was dead. Flynn pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison, minus time served before trial.
“It’s your birthday,” said Donna Sytek, chairwoman of the three-person Maine State Parole Board. “We’re granting you the privilege of parole.”
The board granted Flynn parole on his second attempt on Thursday, his 41st birthday. He came up for parole seven years ago, but was denied. He has been in a Maine prison and participated in the hearing by telephone. He told the board that he’d always be haunted by the killing.
“I will always feel terrible about what happened 25 years ago,” he said. “Parole will not change that.”
Pamela Smart was 22 when her husband was killed. She was convicted of being an accomplice to first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. She admitted to seducing Flynn, but said she didn’t plan her husband’s murder.