Killer in 1991 Smart trial in New Hampshire seeks time with wife
MANCHESTER N.H. (Reuters) - The killer at the center of a sensationalized 1991 murder trial in New Hampshire has applied for weekend prison furloughs with his wife as he prepares for the next chapter of his life.
William "Billy" Flynn was 16 when he was charged with shooting to death the husband of Pamela Smart, who was his lover and an employee of the school he attended.
At the conclusion of a lurid trial, a jury found Pamela Smart guilty of first-degree murder for orchestrating the killing.
Flynn and a friend, Patrick Randall, who held Smart's husband at knifepoint, were convicted of second-degree murder.
Both Flynn, now 40, and Randall are up for parole in June 2015, and both were permitted earlier this summer to enter work-release programs at minimum security facilities.
The New Hampshire Department of Corrections kept the inmates separate by having Flynn incarcerated in Maine while Randall served his sentence in New Hampshire.
Flynn applied with the Maine Department of Corrections to participate in its furlough program. He wants to be able to make 48-hour visits to Newcastle, Maine, where his wife lives. Flynn and the woman were married in 2006 while he was behind bars.
Jody Breton, Maine's deputy corrections commissioner, said on Friday that Flynn's application is under review and the agency's decision will be based on his disciplinary record and the assessment of prison officials.
Corrections officials in New Hampshire had backed Flynn's request to be given work-release status earlier in the summer.
"We basically stated that William Flynn has been discipline-free over 15 years and completed all programs and treatment required of him," New Hampshire corrections spokesman Jeff Lyons said.
While in prison, Flynn became certified as an electrician's assistant and received an associate's degree in liberal studies.
Flynn's bid to be furloughed comes amid renewed interest in the Pamela Smart case.
A documentary titled "Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart," which aired last month on HBO, suggests that Smart did not get a fair trial because of the heightened publicity surrounding the case.
Smart, who is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole, has maintained her innocence and said that Flynn was responsible for the murder.
The possibility that Flynn could be furloughed was decried by a spokeswoman for Smart.
"How many more rewards does this man believe he deserves for murdering Gregg Smart in cold blood?" spokeswoman Eleanor Pam said in a statement to WMUR News 9.
(Editing by Frank McGurty and Barbara Goldberg)