William Flynn Seeks Sentence Reduction

artsmartap.jpg

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That’s quite a contrast from the angry and withdrawn teenager who, as a high school sophomore, shot Gregory Smart in the back of the head as Smart begged for mercy from his knees.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.
more stories like this

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.

William Flynn Seeks Sentence Reduction was last modified: December 27th, 2010 by Admin

45 Responses to William Flynn Seeks Sentence Reduction

  1. I would like to say to the ones who believe in “he should serve life or better”.This is also a life that were talking about here,a child himself when he went into prison and could have remained in a childs’ mind frame til the day he’s released.Instead he’s an adult now that has took it upon himself to out-grow the shoes he wore going into prison,believe it or not people change for the good and prison is one place where it’s not that easy to change for the good.If you don’t believe me ask the ones in there that’s has a lesser crime than Billy Flynn and still want be released until after is even if he serves 28 years.These inmates could’ve easily manipulated Billy to be one of them “DON’T WANT TO BE RELEASE MENS” just as well as Pamela did him.I don’t know him but only GOD can truly judge Billy for what he has done not some judicial system that works for people with money like OJ.Simpson.He admitted his crime honestly served the rest of his chilhood life incarserated behind the walls of Liberty N Justice for all!?!?

  2. Like Johnathan, i was also an inmate with Billy and also a member of that prison band with him. I was in for six years, and never have i met a more respectful anust ignorancd non-confrontational person. Billy has done alot of time and, at least for my part, think he is well deserving of a reduction. Remember ours is not to judge but to observe-if you haven’t observed Billy, than it’s just ignorance controlling your response.

  3. How come he was given that sentence at 16? Dont these days they put you in juvie or something? I definitely dont agree with Flynn’s sentence, he was young and stupid back then, and i think hes served enough and has learned his lesson. I mean people who do worse crimes, get a lesser sentence than him.. but its the US, i live in Canada..i guess its different here.
    I’m 16 and I have to say most of the things I do, i dont think about the consequences. I would never go to the point as to killing someone, but I have broken the law, several times and havent gotten caught. See most teenagers really dont know what theyre doing. Theres a lot of experimenting and first times, and you havent learned enough yet. You dont know what you want and what to do most of the time, you kind of just learn in the moment as you go along. Everyone makes mistakes, and Billy Flynn i can completely understand. What he lived in his past definitely palyed a role in his actions. Cmon youre 16 you think youre in love, you have had a bad family life, your not-so-nice dad died 2 days before your 13th birthday; you have no basic moral support that youre supposed to get from a family. Which leaves you with no guidance, you get lost. And then you meet someone who promises to love you and be with you and replace the gap that your past has created. It makes you think irrationally and this time you really didnt know better, so you go ahead and do what the person whom you love and trust tells you. Because its the only guidance you have and you have a “love” dependecy/attachment/reliabality. Murder is compeltely wrong, unacceptable, cruel, unforgivable.
    But at that precise moment,
    in Billy Flynn’s life
    at 16
    it made sense.

    and i completely agree with jonathan.

  4. I grew up in the Hampton area and after reading again how sorry this little “b—–d”is about pulling the trigger while his victim was on his knees, begging for his life….Let me just say that the only way he’ll ever know or appreciate what his victim felt at the time – is to be put in the same situation!!!!!

  5. He needs to finish the time he was given. I do feel bad for him, but lets not forget he did kill someone….that he did not even know. Yes he was young but he has also done some things in prison that aren’t all great like they are making him sound.

  6. For all of you holier than thou types that think someone should spend the rest of their lives in prison for being….Brainwashed, are morons.I was in Maine State Prison with Billy Flynn, We were in the same prison band, and he was my friend. Billy has become a totally diffrent person that he was in 1990. He diserves a second chance at life, and it seriously erks me that alot of people who say he should do all of his sentance because he murdered someone dont have the balls to put theirselves in his situation. Havent we all wanted to seriously hurt, or even kill someone in our lives??? I have….At least billy had a reason…even if it was a bad one, he was in love….do any of you remember what that feels like???

  7. south hampton steve and exeter dave realy seem like educated people god save this world and help them grow up. Seem like these two realy know the facts. I conceed to your world of wisdom on this matter and defenetly to your language. You too are so cool.

  8. I agree with you South Hampton Steve! You can tell by the writing Seabrook Chuck is: First.. indeed from Seabrook. And Secondly, trying to defend a fellow bricker. The thing is, Flynn wasn’t born in Seabrook. Afterall, he wasn’t an Eaton, Brown, Butler, or sleeping with his sister….or was he? Long before Flynn makes it out of jail Seabrook will have gone so commercial that the people who were original “Brookas” won’t be able to afford to live there. It’s sad… but that dirty place is going up in value.

  9. Hey Seabrook Chuck… South Hampton Steve here. While I do believe Bill Flynn has served enough time (much lesser time for worse crimes) I also believe the cock sucker knew exactly what he was doing and made an adult choice to pull the trigger. Let’s not paint the picture any other way! TV or not… nobody, not even “Billy” himself denied killing Greg Smart. Fuck you

  10. It is my understanding that at the time of the crime william was under the age of eighteen years old why did he get adult time. Pam is the one that put an end to Greg life not william. If Pam didnt have william do her dirty work she would have found someone else to do it. William is another victim of Pam does she ever give any thought to all the lifes she has ruined.

Leave a Response