Jurors Say Tapes Convicted Teacher in Murder Scheme
Jurors who convicted Pamela Smart of seducing a 15-year-old boy and persuading him to kill her husband said Saturday that tapes secretly recorded by another teen-ager led them to find her guilty.
“The tapes, they told the truth,” said Charlotte Jefts, a member of the Rockingham County Superior Court jury that found Smart guilty Friday of being an accomplice to first-degree murder, conspiracy and witness tampering.
Smart, 23, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Prosecutors said Smart, a former high school media director, decided to get rid of her husband of less than a year because she feared she would lose her Derry, N.H., condominium and her dog, Halen, in a divorce. They said she wanted to be free in order to pursue her lover, William Flynn, who is now 17.
Flynn has confessed that he shot Gregory Smart last May 1 with the help of two teen-age friends, Vance Lattime Jr. and Patrick Randall. All three youths have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and testified against Smart in the sensational trial.
Flynn said he was a 15-year-old virgin when Smart seduced him with a sultry striptease. He said she had threatened to break off their affair if he did not dispose of her husband, a 24-year-old insurance salesman.
Jurors agreed that testimony from Flynn, Lattime and Randall was compelling, but they said tape recordings in which Smart seemed to show prior knowledge of the murder was the most damning evidence.
“The tapes and the testimony proved in our minds that she was guilty,” said juror Norma Honor, 46, a nurse from Plaistow, N.H.
The tapes were recorded secretly by Smart’s 16-year-old student intern, Cecelia Pierce, who was cooperating with police.
Jurors also said Smart’s cold demeanor worked against the defense.
Jefts and other jurors said they did not feel they were influenced by the flood of media reports about the case.
But defense attorney Mark Sisti said the fact that the seven-woman, five-man panel was not sequestered until they completed the second of their three days of deliberations was grounds for appeal.