The murder of Pamela Smart’s husband by one of her students may have faded from memory for some, but at the time it happened in 1990, the former high school teacher who convinced her young lover to kill her husband was a tabloid sensation.
In 1991, 16-year-old Billy Flynn, pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of Smart’s husband and was sentenced to 28-years-to-life in prison. He is now up for parole, with his hearing scheduled on his 41st birthday on March 12.
According to People, Flynn was moved to a medium-security facility and placed in a work-release program last July as his parole hearing approached.
Flynn allegedly enlisted the help of three friends in killing Gregg Smart, all three of which have served time for the murder. Two of the men have been released from prison. The third, Patrick “Pete” Randall – who held Smart while Flynn shot him – was scheduled for a parole hearing this year.
Flynn has admitted remorse for his actions, saying he will carry the guilt and remorse with him “every day for the rest of my life.” Smart’s former lover has spent his time in prison productively, getting his GED and earning an electrician’s helper license.
He has also married and has a step-daughter with his wife.
Flynn will not appear before the parole board in person, but will talk to them by speakerphone from the facility in Maine where he is now serving his sentence. Gregg Smart’s family and friends will be present to speak, and state prosecutors will make statements in the hearing. If parole is granted, Flynn will be released after June 4 after his parole plan is approved.
According to the Associated Press, Pamela Smart was Flynn’s teacher at Winnicunnet High School when she instigated a sexual liaison with the boy. As the affair progressed, Smart convinced Flynn that she could not divorce her husband to be with him because she would lose everything, and that killing him would solve the problem. Flynn claims that she manipulated him into the killing by threatening to break up with him if he didn’t do it.
Flynn testified at trial that he and his three friends tried to kill the husband in April, but got lost on the way and failed to carry out Smart’s request. However, he and Randall, then 18-years-old, entered the man’s home a few weeks later and killed him with a shot to the head.
Pamela Smart, who was convicted being an accomplice to the murder, continues to deny any knowledge or involvement in the plan to kill her husband. But a witness at her trial, another teenager, produced a tape of her cautioning the teen from telling the truth because it would “send me (Smart) to the slammer” for the rest of her life.
Although there have been several highly publicized cases of teachers having affairs with students since, such as the Megan Connors case reported recently by the Inquisitr, Smart’s was the first to receive national attention. The murder inspired both a novel and movie, and the trial, which was the first to be nationally televised in its entirety, received so much attention it turned into a “daytime drama” according to her attorney, Mark Sisti.
[Image via Concord Monitor]