Three Seabrook Students Held in Murder

By Cara Connors

The Hampton Union, June 15, 1990

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

SEABROOK - Law enforcement officials are keeping a tight lid on information following the arraignment this week of three Seabrook youths in connection with the May 1 death of a Winnacunnet employee's husband.

The three Winnacunnet High School Students, whose names are not being released because of their ages, are being charged with juvenile delinquency in connection with the fatal shooting of George [sic] Smart in the couple's Derry condominium.

At least one worked with Smart's widow, Pamela, on a media project. Pamela Smart, who did not return calls this week, is director of the media center at School Administrative Unit 21.

Smart, who recently moved from Derry to Hampton, has been staying at the Windham home of her mother, Linda Wojas, for the last couple of days.

The State is seeking to try the three male youths, believed to be in the ninth and tenth grades at Winnacunnet High School, as adults. They are being held at the Youth Development Center in Manchester, Assistant Attorney General Diane Nicolosi said Tuesday in front of Hampton District Court.

Nicolisi said if the three are tried as adults, one would be charged with first degree murder and the other two as accomplices to first degree murder.

Nicosi said the state would seek certification of the three youths. Under state law, certain criteria must be met for the youths to be tried as adults. One strong factor in the determination is whether the suspect has had any previous record of juvenile delinquency.

Authorities here said that the determination must be made within the next 21 days, and that a hearing on that issue will be heard, probably before Judge Lawrence F. Warhall in Derry District Court.

The three are being held in connection with the May 1 death of 24-year-old Gregory Smart at the 4E Misty Morning Drive condominium in Derry where he and his wife lived. Smart was found by his wife at about 10:30 p.m. with a bullet through his head. She had reportedly returned from a Winnacunnet School Board meeting.

Police thought Gregory Smart may have intercepted a burglary in progress because the home was found ransacked, items were missing and the pet dog was locked in the basement.

When asked, Nicolosi said a gun had been found, but would not comment on if it was used as the murder weapon or the circumstances under which it was discovered.

Theories surrounding Smart's death have circulated with many questioning the circumstances of Pamela Smart's relationship with the youths. In a WMUR-TV interview, Winnacunnet student Cecelia Pierce said one of the students who was arrested was the cameraman for the media project they worked on with Pamela Smart. At the invitation of Smart, the group traveled to her Derry home a few weeks before the killing, Pierce said.

When asked about the relationship between Pamela Smart and the students, Seabrook Juvenile Officer Michael Frost said yesterday he had no comment. Nor would he comment on the report in The Union Leader that at least one more arrest is expected in the case.

The youths were taken into custody Monday night by Seabrook Police just before 10 p.m. Frost would not comment on the reports that someone close to the incident confessed to police Sunday afternoon.

If found guilty of first degree murder, the sentence under New Hampshire Law is life imprisonment without parole.

Tuesday, a student standing outside Hampton District courthouse, who asked that his name not be used, said he knew two of the youths and described them as "nice kids".

"They're all so quiet," he said and added the three had not been in school for several days.

SAU 21 Superintendent Norman Katner expressed his sympathy for the families of the youths Wednesday. "Our hearts go out to the families of the individuals who have been caught up in this tragedy," Katner said. He said he had no other information, calling it strictly a police investigation.

The case has been under continuous investigation by Derry detectives since the murder was discovered May 1.

Following the arraignment of the three juveniles this week, the officers pursuing the investigation declined to make any comment.

However, the officers were high in their praise of the Seabrook Police Department, describing their cooperation as "outstanding".

The only role played by the Major Crime Unit of State Police thus far has been to process the scene of the crime and to have collected some evidence which is now being processed in the crime lab in Concord, according to Derry police.

The three appeared in Hampton instead of Derry District Court because state law regarding juveniles mandates they be arraigned in the court nearest their jurisdiction.