Robert Fowler discusses Smart killer's early release bid
By Susan Morse
Hampton Union, January 29, 2008
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
A family spokesman for one of the other four Seabrook men who served time for Gregory Smart's murder believes Billy Flynn should not yet be paroled.
Robert Fowler, older brother of Raymond Fowler, 36, said Flynn, "took a lot of people down with that one decision he made."
On May 1, 1990, Ray Fowler, 18, waited in the car with driver Vance "J.R." Lattime, 17, who supplied the car and the gun, while Flynn, 15, and Patrick "Pete" Randall, 17, went into Smart's Derry condo. Flynn was having an affair with Smart's wife, then 22-year-old Winnacunnet High School media coordinator Pamela Smart. Flynn testified he asked God for forgiveness and shot Gregory Smart in the head.
"I have sympathy for people, when you make a decision of that magnitude, there's no way to change it," said Rob Fowler. "I don't feel he (Flynn) should continue his life and live happily ever after. We (the family) talk a lot about this. I feel he shouldn't get out on parole. When you take someone else's life, you take your own. He took a lot of people down, my brother, Pam, it's not something you can just say you're sorry ..."
The prosecution portrayed Pamela Smart as the mastermind who controlled her young lover to commit murder. Flynn admitted his guilt and testified against her. Smart is serving a life sentence without parole in New York for first-degree murder.
"We're not convinced she was mastermind," said Rob Fowler, who has been in contact with Pamela's mother, Linda Wojas.
Rob Fowler believes the jury never got the full story, because his brother was never called on to testify. Flynn was not as innocent as the prosecution portrayed him to be, Fowler said. Fowler believes Pete Randall, who said in court he wanted to be a professional hit man, was the deciding factor.
"We felt if Pete wasn't with Bill that night, he would have chickened out," said Fowler. "It was Pete's decision to actually go through with it. Bill hesitated, he wasn't going to do it, he needed someone else's support. In my opinion, that was the deciding factor ... Raymond feels the same thing. The way they were talking (that night) something else happened that wasn't told in trial."
Raymond Fowler is out on parole, having served 11 years out of a 15- to 30-year prison sentence for his 1992 guilty plea to murder conspiracy and attempted burglary. He has said he thought the teens were going to burglarize the home, not kill Smart.
Lattime was released on parole in 2005. Randall remains in Maine State Prison.
"I think it's a touchy issue with most people," said Fowler, "the fact it happened around here."