Mother Reacts to Arrest

Cannot believe her son was involved in Derry murder

By Cara Connors

The Hampton Union, June 22, 1990

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

SEABROOK - The mother of one of the three teen-age boys arrested and charged in the murder of a Derry man described her son as a normal, "average student" who she can not believe would be involved in such a crime.

The woman was interviewed yesterday while standing at the doorway of a mobile home. A fenced-in vegetable garden guards one side of the trailer and several cars and trucks were parked in a semi-circle around the front. Small, wood steps led up to the doorway of the home, where she stood and quietly answered questions.

One of the cars an old Camaro, was given to her 17-year-old son "to rescue from the grave," she said, laughing softly.

The mobile home sits off Collins Street near another trailer. The family has lived there 10 years, originally coming from Salisbury, Mass., she said.

She described her son, a sophomore at Winnacunnet High School, as interested in fishing and cars and especially Edgar Allen Poe. He and two other Seabrook teen-agers have been charged in the May 1 killing of Gregory Smart in Derry.

She and her husband recently visited her son in the Youth Development Center in Manchester, where he is being held. The meetings have been "awkward", with little or nothing being said about the Smart incident. On advice of their attorney, they have not brought up the issue, she said. Her son does not bring it up either, she said.

She said she is taking everything "day by day" and now cannot envision what the future will hold for her family.

Her son was to have begun work as a busboy and dishwasher the week he was arraigned at Hampton District Court, she said.

The youths were arraigned about 2 weeks ago on charges of juvenile delinquency in connection with the May 1 murder of Smart. Pamela Smart, the victim's wife, is the director of the media center at School Administrative Unit 21 in Hampton.

Assistant Attorney General Diane Nicolosi has said the state wants to try the youths as adults. One would be charged with first degree murder and the other two with accomplice to the killing, she said.

The mother said she would not comment on her son's relationship with Pamela Smart, just to say he was not involved in the making of a video project with her and several other students. Smart worked with one of the youths on a project to be entered into an orange juice contest.

Smart has said she was "devastated" by the arrests.