May 1st, 1990
On May 1, 1990, Pamela Smart came home from a meeting at work to find her condominium, 4 Misty Morning Dr Unit E in Derry, NH, ransacked and her husband Greggory murdered. Police officials said the crime scene looked like a disrupted burglary. Smart was later accused of seducing 15-year-old William "Billy" Flynn and then threatening to stop having sex with him unless he killed her husband. Flynn did so with the help of friends Patrick "Pete" Randall, Vance "J.R." Lattime, Jr., and Raymond Fowler. On May 14, an anonymous tip also indicated that Cecilia Pierce, another student at the school who was a confidante of both Smart and Flynn was aware of the murder plan. Police talked to Pierce, who agreed to wear a wire and record conversations with Smart in hopes that she would say something incriminating, which she did. On August 1, 1990, Detective Daniel Pelletier approached Smart in her school's parking lot. Smart recognized him, having spoken to him on at least six other occasions. Taken by surprise, she asked, "What's up?" "Well, Pam," Pelletier said in the recording, "I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that we've solved the murder of your husband. The bad news is you're under arrest." "What for?" Smart asked. "First-degree murder." Smart was then handcuffed and arraigned at the Derry District Court and jailed at the New Hampshire State Prison for Women. At trial, the prosecution portrayed Pamela Smart as the cold-blooded mastermind who controlled her underaged sex partner. Nicolosi claimed that Smart seduced Flynn to get him to murder her husband so that she could avoid an expensive divorce and benefit from a $140,000 life insurance policy. In her testimony, Smart acknowledged that she had what she termed an "affair" with the underaged boy, but claimed that the murder of her husband was solely the doing of Flynn and his friends as a reaction to her telling Flynn that she wished to end their "relationship" and repair her marriage. She insisted that she neither participated in the murder plot nor had any foreknowledge of it. Though Flynn claimed he had fallen in love with Smart when he first met her, Cecelia Pierce testified at trial that Smart and Flynn were originally just friends. Pierce first noticed a change about February, when Smart confessed to her that she "loved Bill." Flynn testified at trial that he was a virgin before he had sex with Pamela Smart. After a 14-day trial that culminated on March 22, 1991, in the Rockingham County Superior Court, Smart was found guilty of being an accomplice to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and witness tampering. The tampering stemmed from Pamela's coercing Cecelia Pierce in their recorded conversations not to say anything to authorities or to lie. The conviction was largely the result of the testimony of her co-conspirators and the secretly taped conversations in which Smart appeared to contradict her claims of having wanted to reconcile with her husband and of having no knowledge of the boys' plot. She could have been charged with capital murder, but the prosecution decided against it. She was given a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility for parole.