A New Hampshire man has been granted parole nearly 25 years after he gunned down the husband of his instructor and lover, Pamela Smart, in a case that attracted global attention.
William Flynn was 16-year-old "Billy" in 1990 when he and three friends carried out what prosecutors said was Pamela Smart's plot to murder Gregg Smart. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison, minus time served before trial.
A three-person state board granted Flynn parole on his first attempt Thursday, his 41st birthday.
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 seducing Flynn but said she didn't plan the murder.
Flynn spoke by telephone from the Maine prison where he has been held. He says he will always feel terrible about the killing and "parole will not change that.
Flynn says finding a job will be his biggest challenge because employers search his name on the Internet and the first thing they learn about him "is the worst thing I've ever done."
Eleanor Pam, the spokeswoman for Pamela Smart, released the following statement:
"Pamela Smart, who had no role in the murder and was 50 miles away at the time, has no such luxury. She is serving the draconian sentence of life without the possibility of parole.
How can a self confessed killer like Flynn perjure himself, blame Pamela Smart for his own actions, and then receive the benefits of freedom and a reclaimed life? How can he be rewarded while she is endlessly punished, incarcerated for the rest of her natural life?
It is past time for the State of New Hampshire to remove the scarlet letter from around Pamela Smart's neck and allow her to return in peace to her loving family. If Bill Flynn and his gangster cohorts are allowed to live free, why is Pamela Smart's persecution eternal?
This case demands a second look."