William Flynn Seeks Sentence Reduction

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Pamela Smart is serving life in prison for getting teen lover to kill her husband in 1990.

WARREN, Maine—William Flynn has a wife and teenage stepdaughter, is a member of the Jaycees and likes to play softball. He sounds like a good suburban neighbor.

But Flynn’s home is a cell at the Maine State Prison, where he’s serving a 28-year-to-life sentence in the notorious Pamela Smart murder case. Flynn was 16 and having an affair with Smart when he shot and killed her husband in New Hampshire in 1990.

Now, in asking a New Hampshire judge to suspend the remainder of his sentence, Flynn depicts himself as a do-gooder who is active in community and charitable causes.

His court file contains more than three dozen letters of support from prison employees, friends and others who know him. Another nine letters come from people who say they would hire Flynn once he is released.

A hearing is scheduled for Friday in Rockingham Superior Court in Brentwood, N.H.

In the motion, Flynn asks for a sentence reduction because, at age 33, he has now spent more than half his life in prison.

“He has used those years to develop from a boy into a man of great character, fully rehabilitated and ready to contribute to society upon his release from incarceration,” says his lawyer, Cathy Green of Manchester, N.H.

That’s quite a contrast from the angry and withdrawn teenager who, as a high school sophomore, shot Gregory Smart in the back of the head as Smart begged for mercy from his knees. The murder scheme was concocted by Smart’s wife, Pamela Smart, who is serving a life sentence in a New York prison for her role.

Gregory Smart’s family opposes any sentence reduction, and the state objects to Flynn’s request, as well. Reducing his sentence would undermine the sentencing goals of punishment, rehabilitation and deterrence, said Assistant Attorney General Kirsten Wilson.

“As he has yet to serve the minimum of his sentence, he has not been appropriately punished for his crime,” she wrote.

Eighteen years ago, Flynn and his high school buddies were smitten with Pamela Smart, a blond 23-year-old who worked at their high school in Hampton, N.H.

The former disc jockey who’d been photographed with rock stars and had a license plate that read “Van Halen” met Flynn in a self-esteem class she helped teach. They became lovers, he testified, and she enlisted him to kill her husband of less than a year.

On May 1, 1990, Flynn and a friend entered the Smarts’ condominium and grabbed Gregory Smart. The friend held a knife to Smart’s throat, and Flynn — after asking God for forgiveness — fired a .38-caliber revolver. Two other teenage friends were in a getaway car.

The other three teens were convicted of murder conspiracy or accomplice charges. In exchange for testifying against Pamela Smart, Flynn pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison.

It’ll be more than 10 years before he’s eligible for parole.
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According to court documents, Flynn has transformed himself into a thoughtful and caring adult intent on helping others while at the Maine State Prison. In his petition, Flynn writes in a 6-page handwritten letter that the guilt and shame he feels is like wearing a “huge weight strapped permanently across your shoulders.”

Flynn says he’s not worthy of the Smart family’s forgiveness, but wants them to know how truly sorry he is, “though the word sorry fails to express the depth of what I feel.”

He has no plans to write a book, or otherwise cash in on his notoriety.

“I do not want to be remembered for this,” he says. “I would like to be remembered as a good husband, a good father and a productive member of my community…I don’t need to be wealthy and I would never want to be famous.”

Flynn did not respond to requests to be interviewed for this story, and has told prison officials he wants to keep a low profile.

Flynn’s sentence-reduction petition includes a thick 3-ring notebook full of testimonials and letters of support, and certificates of achievement and completion for various courses and activities he has participated in.

Since entering prison, Flynn has earned a GED, taken college computer courses and earned an electrician’s helper license. He is so trusted in prison that he has been given work on prison security and camera systems, the file shows.

Flynn is a member of the prison Jaycees, the NAACP and the Kairos Christian organization. He is director of the Long Timers Group and chairman of the Peer Education Group. He plays guitar, soccer and softball, and has helped raise money for the Toys for Tots program and Salvation Army. A couple of years ago he helped build a children’s playhouse for a family that had moved to Maine after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Flynn has also gotten married, to a woman six years his senior who was coming out of a divorce when they met at the prison.

In a letter to the court, Kelly Flynn says she owns a house where she lives with her teenage daughter. She formerly worked as the executive assistant to the superintendent of schools in Wiscasset.

Flynn says that her husband has turned himself around in prison through self-examination and hard work.

“Bill has become a man who is worthy of respect, despite his past record,” writes Flynn, who also declined to be interviewed.

While Flynn’s activities would make him a model citizen on the outside, he lives in a prison with more than 900 other inmates.

As inmate No. 1552, he sleeps in a small cell with a stainless steel toilet and wears prison-issued denim. The field he plays softball and soccer on in warmer weather is surrounded by a tall fence topped with razor wire. These days, it’s covered with snow.

He and his wife exchanged marriage vows in the prison visitor’s room, an open room where inmates and friends and family can gather around tables.

While supporters portray Flynn as a sympathetic character, he’ll have his work cut out to persuade Justice Kenneth McHugh that his sentence should be reduced.

For starters, it could be argued that Flynn’s sentence was reduced at the time of sentencing through a plea bargain, said Charles Putnam, co-director of the Justiceworks research institute at University of New Hampshire and a former homicide prosecutor.

Back then, Flynn was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and had the minimum sentence cut from 40 to 28 years because of his youth, the role of Pamela Smart in the crime, his broken home life and his lack of a criminal record.

When judges consider motions for sentence reductions, they often look to see if there was something wrong with the initial sentence, Putnam said. And in the Flynn case, it will be hard to overlook the image of Flynn pulling the trigger.

“From my perspective, holding another human being who is begging to be spared, and pulling the trigger on that human being and voluntarily and purposely ending the life of that human being is a momentous act,” he said.

Furthermore, Flynn’s record in prison isn’t perfect. Flynn has six behavioral infractions for altering state property, being out of place and having too many personal items in his cell, according to Wilson, the assistant attorney general.

“The state submits that the defendant’s conduct while in prison demonstrates that his rehabilitation is not, in fact, as complete as he asserts,” Wilson says.

39 Responses to William Flynn Seeks Sentence Reduction

  1. I will never forget the testimony of Billy on the stand. He was genuinely devastated & I remembered thinking how sad that he was manipulated by that evil woman. If you recall, she told Billy & friends that Greg was beating her. Billy was only 15 and his young teen mind had to be so confused.
    The powers that be need to release him now and let him have what is left of his life. Pam Smart, on the other hand, should never get out of prison.

  2. I personally knew Billy, actually lived a few houses from him. He was very kind-hearted and did not ever think of any wrong-doings. He deserves to be home with his wife and family. He has turned his life around and I wish all the strength neededto get through all of this. Pamela Smart was the killer….not the 16 year old she brainwashed.

  3. Billy Flynn was an impressionable teen-ager when fate brought him and Pam Smart together. It is a medical fact, that despite knowing right from wrong, a teens brain is not yet fully developed, and therefore rendered incapable of forming mature decisions based on consequences of one’s actions. Desapite being incarcerated for a horrible crime (let us not forget Greg Smart here), Billy DID, in fact, thrive in a very hostile enviornment. Billy has letters from 9 people offering him employment upon his release, he is a sort of pillar of strength in prison, and a wife and family to go home to. I don’t think that the US government can possibly expect any more of a rehabilitation. mr. Flynn will continue to have to liuve knowing he took a man’s life. He has taken responsibilty for this heinous crime, and further incarceration is really redundant at this point.

    • Nicole, I agree,the goal of rehabilitation has been met.I guess he remains in prison to fullfill the punishment aspect of being in prison.I’ve not commented before on this case but I came upon an article about Billy recently and I couldn’t believe this guy was still in prison.I remember when the court trial was on TV years ago and I thought about my age,I’m 42 now and I felt bad for him.I remember feeling bad for him back then also.I just wonder that publicity in his case is what’s keeping him in prison for so long.I’m well aware of what he did,and I do feel for the Smart family.But as a regular citizen I can’t help but feel a bit guilty in that the court system works for me and everyone,and that this system imprisoned a child as an adult for many years.Thank goodness he has grown up a descent man when he could’ve went down another path which would’ve been easy to do in prison.Hopefully he will get a chance at freedom at his next parole opportunity,and hopefully it’s not too long of a time from now.

  4. .I think that Billy Flynn has already spent many,many years in prison to this day.Due to the fact of his age at the time does make a difference.It’s human nature as to why Billy wanted to be with this woman,like it or not men and women are different when it comes to sex and there’s really nothing wrong with that.Men typically persue and feel more of a man when they are successful at winning over the woman of their desire. This is just the way it is,as a woman myself,there is nothing offensive about this,it’s how men and women interact and hopefully fall in love at some point.However,by law he was underage,and Pam was the perpetrator.Even though it’s possible that Billy had already ‘been’ with girls his own age,that’s ok.Pam was older and in a position of power.I think that is her whole motivation for wanting her husband dead.That feeling of power not just coming from Billy but the other boys and the girl who looked up to Pam.This all gave her such a power trip that she just thought that she could do whatever she wanted without any reguard for anyones feelings except her own.This is why Billy’s age at the time does matter because by law he was underage and under the impression that her husband was hitting her.Due to his apparrent remorse so soon after what he did proves that until the age of 23-25 people do not grasp the concept of circumstsances for their actions.(on Dr. Phil)Anyhow,this guy should not have been sentenced as an adult.He was also a victim in more ways than one of Pam Smart.He isn’t a danger to society, and he’s not some psychopath who feels nothing.There might can be some good left to come out of this upon his release and the manner in how he will touch other’s lives due to all the learning he has accomplished from all of those mistakes.I’ve had a heartbreaking murder in my own family and feel I can speak to some extent about the Smart family.Their loss and the loss of Gregg’s life is very painful to go through,only time and acceptance and forgiveness can help,there should be some sense of justice felt with pam behind bars.She is the reason for his death.If and when Billy gets out this may even promote healing within the Smart family,because this man is remorseful and appears very sincere,very unlike the convicted murderers of my niece.I hope the Smart family finds peace,and I also hope that Billy Flynn finds some peace.Why in the world Pam didn’t just get a divorce is beyond me.If it were me,if I was a new college graduate and hadn’t had any children yet and had my whole life ahead of me I would’ve gotten a divorce in as a civil manner as possible.It seems as if Gregg was a reasonable man and that would’ve been that.No reason for anyone to die!If I really liked Billy(not in a fake way)well,I would’ve felt better if he was at least 17,but I wouldn’t have snuck around and probably would’ve wanted his mom’s input,that’s what a guy would’ve done,and that’s not so hard to imagine if it were the other way around but in a respectful way.Well Billy was a very cute guy so I see nothing wrong as long as their was mutual respect.Just my opinion .

  5. hi, my name is michele irene. i live in vancouver, i just want to say that i hope that pam smart never gets out of prison and that she stays there where she is . i think that she is cold bleedy bitch to do that to her husband who didnt deserves to die. i feel very sorry for her teenage lover. william who she took abventaged of. i hope that when william does get out of prison i am sure he always be remember by what happend. i hope someday william could forgive himself. he should always remember one thing, that he was victim under her spell. its a shame that his father didnt know what kind of cold harded bitch pam was . maybe he could have done seomething to stopped his son and just maybe grag would still be alive.

  6. It’s so tragic for a young man to be manipulated by a woman who is bent on evil. If he would have gotten away from her he might have been a successful businessman, married a good woman and father children. It isn’t for me to say that Pam should rot in hell but it would be a miracle if she would accept Jesus Christ in her life and repent of her wrong doings. She certainly doesn’t look like a murderer or a depraved person but looks can be deceiving.

  7. Yea, Bill Flynn should have his sentence reduced, even though he pulled the trigger Pamala Smart is the real muderer. She has the nerve after all these years to say she had no part in this. Lets have both Bill and Pam take a lie detector test. I’ll bet you a million dollars she won’t do it. And we all know why.

  8. Bill has done enough time. He was young, naive, and manipulated by an evil women. If he had not killed Greg she would have found someone else to. And she needs to admit her role, have some real remorse and ask for forgiveness. Maybe then she will get the sympathy she so much longs for. At he very least she should tell her poor mother she is guilty as charged so the women can have some peace. This is how evil Pam is, letting her mother believe she is innocent. Cause that’s what mothers do, they believe their children.

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