N.H. File: Profile of a Murder
Portsmouth Herald, Sunday, February 20, 2005
[The following article is courtesy of The Portsmouth Herald and Seacoast Online.]
May 1, 1990 - At 8:30 p.m., 23-year-old insurance salesman Greg Smart is murdered in his rented Derry condominium - shot execution-style by a .38-caliber gun pointed above his left ear. Pamela (Wojas) Smart, his wife of less than a year, was at a Winnacunnet school committee meeting at the time, where she worked as a media director. According to public record, as police process the murder scene later that evening, Smart seems more concerned about her Shih Tzu "Halen," named after the band Van Halen, than her dead husband. Halen was also emblazoned on the vanity plate of Smart's silver Honda.
May 2, 1990 - "Pame" Smart, born Aug. 16, 1967, calls a N.H. television station and offers to give an interview, conducted the following day. Her husband's wake is that evening.(Photo right:) Billy Flynn is questioned during the murder trial in 1991. Flynn confessed to pulling the trigger and killing Smart's husband, Gregg, but Pamela believes he took the fall for one of the others in the murder conspiracy.
[Portsmouth Herald file photo]
May 14, 1990 - A tipster tells police Smart's Winnacunnet intern, Seabrook's Cecelia Pierce, has information about Smart having plotted her husband's murder with three teenage boys - Bill Flynn, Patrick "Pete" Randall and Vance Lattime - all Winnacunnet students known to Smart through her after-school program at the Hampton high school and known as "Project Self-Esteem."
June 10, 1990 - Lattime brings a snub-nosed revolver to Seabrook police, saying he believes it's the murder weapon. Flynn, Randall and Lattime are charged with first-degree murder.
June 19, 1990 - Pierce is wired by police investigators to secretly tape conversations she has with Smart.
Aug. 1, 1990 - Smart is arrested at Winnacunnet High School, after a dozen police cars pull up to her office across from the high school and charge her with conspiring to kill her husband. She is arraigned in Derry District Court and has remained in jail since. The same month, Pierce is paid $1,000 by the television show, "Hard Copy," for an interview on its show, "Scandal At School: One Girl's Secret." She later accepts another $1,000 for another "Hard Copy" interview and $100,000 from Once Upon A Time Productions for a movie deal.
Jan. 28, 1991 - Flynn, Lattime and Randall plea bargain with prosecutors by admitting to second-degree murder in exchange for testimony against Smart. Flynn confesses to shooting Gregg when, at the age of 15, he was Pame's lover. Randall says he held a knife to Gregg's throat as he was shot and Lattime confesses that he provided the gun he'd taken from his father's collection and drove the getaway car.
March 22, 1991 - Judge Douglas Gray sentences Smart, then 23, to life in prison without the chance of parole for conspiracy to commit murder. It takes a jury 13 hours to find Smart guilty, as hundreds of reporters cover the trial, which is the basis for many books and film productions including the movie "To Die For" starring Nicole Kidman. At a later hearing, Smart is charged additionally for witness tampering and being an accomplice to first-degree murder.
1991 - Smart appeals her conviction, but the appeal is overturned.
March 11, 1993 - Smart is transferred from New Hampshire State Prison to the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York.
1996 - Smart is assaulted by two fellow inmates who, according to Gannett Suburban Newspapers, suspect her of reporting their prison affair to the jail's superintendent. The assault results in a fractured left eye socket, for which Smart later receives plastic surgery.
1997 - Smart seeks a new trial, but is denied.
May 2001 - Smart is photographed on graduation day at the N.Y. prison after receiving her second master's degree and graduating summa cum laude.
Jan. 22, 2003 - First Circuit Court of Appeals denies Smart's motion for counsel.
Currently - Smart is asking N.H. Gov. John Lynch and the governor's Executive Council to commute her sentence, which could mean releasing her for time served or reducing her life sentence. She maintains her innocence and continues to protest the unprecedented media coverage of her trial as a deterrent to justice. An online petition is being circulated at www.petitiononline.com/xpam2005/petition.html, asking for Smart's sentence to be reduced to time served, or for her to be paroled.