William Flynn Seeks Sentence Reduction


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That’s quite a contrast from the angry and withdrawn teenager who, as a high school sophomore, shot Gregory Smart in the back of the head as Smart begged for mercy from his knees.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

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

45 Responses to William Flynn Seeks Sentence Reduction

  1. joe mills shuld take a long hard look at himself and everybody else that wants to hang this kid.I know billy flyn i lived in the same house as he did when this all happened. and all of you dont know the facts at all just what tv wanted you all to see. so you all that are talking extreamly bad not with in reason should all grow up.I know the facts and personly all the boys and (girl not pam) that should of did some time for her roll to. sencearly seabrook chuck

  2. Pamela Smart on the other hand should be hung.

  3. I think that william Flynn has served his time, he is truly sorry for what he did and should be releaased early.

  4. This man EXECUTED another man in cold blood, he knew what he was doing (even asking God for forgiveness). Put yourselves in the shoes of the Murder victims parents, they did a fine job of raising their son, he was a young newlywed who was trying to get his life started and this piece of garbage takes this mans life. Now we’re suppose to feel sorry for him and give him a break? Let him out so he can live happily ever after? Are you kidding me? Let him stay in jail and think everyday of the gut wrenching heartache that the Murder Victims parents feel everyday!!!

  5. Lee made a case for rehabilitation and that as in this case the minimum sentence should be waived and the murderer be released on parole, and deserves a second chance.

    I would like to ask all those who support this view the following: His victim was killed in cold blood while pleading for his life. Seems that his second chance was not even considered when he begged for mercy.

    The following excerpt from the article ” 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.”

    He has not paid his debt to society, he has 10 years to go before it should even be on the table for consideration. He should use the next 10 years to contemplate his merciless actions before asking for mercy. He is after all a cold blooded killer and nothing in this world can change that.

    Let’s not forget the victims of crime. We should be more concerned with the victims/survivors of crime, and how they cope and less with the perpetrators.

  6. “Reducing his sentence would undermine the sentencing goals of punishment, rehabilitation and deterrence”. Not reducing this man’s sentence simply tells us that we only pay lip service to rehabilitation, We know that a life sentence, or even the death penalty, does not deter others, and we need stop using that term in sentencing. If we are going to ignore rehabilitation then lets at least be honest with ourselves and admit that we are only interested in punishment. If we truly believe that rehabilitation is a goal, as I do, then this man is rehabilitated and deserves a second chance.

  7. Sounds like he has a very good life in prison. He took someone elses
    life who didn’t get a second chance. His victim begged for his life as
    he shot him. The only way he would feel close to what his victim
    felt is if he begs the court and they keep his sentence at life. The
    unfortunate thing is that people commit crimes like this and somehow
    expect mercy because they changed. Maybe if somehow it was projected
    to them before this occurred that it wouldn’t happen, the crime might
    not happen to begin with. There has to be deterrence. The life he took can’t be reversed. Maybe he is rehabilitated. The way you can find out is to see how he lives his life carrying out his entire sentence. If he were to get released, there could be another 16
    year old out there looking at this thinking that if he killed someone he would get out after 15 years. You have to send the message that you
    won’t get out which could have an effect before something like this
    were to take place. If you want to try reduce the future prison
    population, start stressing the deterrent aspect of justice. If you
    do a crime and get caught you are going to have to pay. Have people question whether it is worth it before the crime takes place. The potential victims need justice too. In countries with harsher punishments crime is considerably less. If you could lose your hands for stealing something, most people are not even going to take a chance. You wouldn’t need as many police. Somehow you have to send a strong message that if you get caught you are going to pay. This message needs to be sent out to people as young as possible. If parents were responsible for their childrens actions, they might take a more proactive approach as well. If we can’t back to a place where
    values dictake that a person doesn’t commit a crime, then we need harsher sentences and those individuals need to serve as examples.
    It can be argued that the death penalty can save more lives as a deterrent than not having a death penalty. The Bomb in WWII effectively ended the war. How many more would have died on both sides
    had it not been dropped. We don’t know. Yes it was horrible, but it could have been worse. We need deterrence or a much larger justice
    system. The problem is justice doesn’t take place until after the crime.

  8. 16 year old punks know what they are doing.
    Flynn knew what he was doing.
    He killed a man, and he must continue to pay.
    Make him serve the 28 years, and then look at the case.
    If I were the judge, I would keep him in jail for life.
    People must understand that if you take a life, then you must pay with your own life.
    I am,

    George Vreeland Hill

  9. When I was 18 I became involved in a relationship with my boss who was 19 years older than me. Even though I was 18 years old, emotionally I was still a 16 year old. This relationship was my first sexual relationship and she was not only my boss but she was also the owner of the business. Now that I am in my late 30’s and think about the relationship I can see how much she not only manipulated me but she also used me as a pawn in her long drawn out divorce with her then husband.

    Now, I can see so clearly how she would seduce me into doing little things that would antagonize or enrage her husband by twisting and distorting the truth making it appear that she was, and had been the victim all along in the marriage while her husband had spent the 15 years of their marriage engaging in numerous affairs.

    I was young, emotionally immature and hopelessly in love for the first time with not only an older woman, but a woman in significant authoritarian position in my life at that time. I not was in love with this woman and wanted to please her but make her so happy that she wouldn’t take her love away, she was my boss, the person who signed my paycheck, the person who in a way, sustained my basic needs to survive, eating, shelter and living because she was my boss.

    So I am not saying Bill Flynn’s decision to murder Gregory Smart can or should be excused by the authoritarian/manipulation/first love equation, because I can not fathom taking someone’s life in cold blood who was not directly threatening the life of someone I loved, but I can understand the path he walked that took him to the horrific choice he made.


    This man may or may not be “rehabilitated.” But capital punishment supporters look at situations like this in fear: “So-called life sentences resulting in parole.” Perhaps he won’t commit another crime.

    But in many cases released murderers often do kill again. If those against the DP are honest, they should do more to keep murderers in prison, rather than “just” arguing against the DP. LWOP must mean that. There should be no “life” sentence unless it is LWOP.

    At the very least, this murderer should serve his minimum sentence (28 years) before becoming eligible for parole. I admit that he was seduced by a female, but the cold blooded execution he carried out decries description.

    I vote for the minimum prison sentence of 28 years. Then, let him try again…


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