It’s been nearly three decades since Pamela Smart was convicted of coercing her teen lover into killing her husband, and she’s still proclaiming her innocence.
Smart sat down with ABC’s “Nightline” anchor, Juju Chang, in an exclusive “20/20” interview during which she says she did not mastermind the murder of her husband.
Smart went on trial in the 1990s after she was accused of coercing her teenage lover, Billy Flynn, into plotting to kill her 24-year-old, husband Gregg Smart.
In March 1991, Smart was convicted of witness tampering, conspiracy to commit murder and being an accomplice to first-degree murder.
Smart has spent the last 29 years incarcerated and is currently at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in New York, ABC said.
Smart has filed numerous appeals and lost each time. She has exhausted all of her appeals and told ABC it’s difficult to hope she will ever leave prison alive.
On May 1, 1990, Smart said she came home from work to find her husband dead from a gunshot wound to the head inside their home, ABC said.
“What happened to Gregg is the most horrible thing I’ve ever gone through in my life, and I’m still haunted every day by memories of what must have happened to him inside our house before he was killed,” Smart said in her most recent interview. “Although I wasn’t there, I feel that because of that I’ll never know how Gregg was feeling at the time. I keep thinking of how afraid he must have been and how senseless this whole tragedy was. A lot of the times, I still can’t even believe that he’s gone.”
Smart was arrested in August 1990, and believed she did nothing wrong. “I knew that I hadn’t done anything wrong. I’m thinking this is gonna get straightened out,” Smart said.
Smart’s teen lover, Flynn, was cooperating with police and told them Smart coerced him into committing the murder, ABC said.
“I meet Pame Smart and she’s beautiful, she’s intelligent, you know, she’s an adult … and she likes me,” Flynn told police. “She said the way she sees it, the only alternative … is to kill him.”
Flynn, Patrick “Pete” Randall, Vance Lattime Jr. and Raymond Fowler eventually confessed to their roles in the murder and pleaded guilty to various charges. They later cooperated with authorities in their prosecution against Smart, ABC said.
During the trial, Randall testified that he asked Smart to go over “the plan” ahead of Gregg Smart’s murder. Smart gave herself an alibi by being at a work meeting while the boys killed her husband.
“I wanted to make sure everything was gonna work. And she told me she was leaving the back doors unlocked, we could go in, make sure we didn’t turn on any lights,” Randall said on the stand. “[She said] not to hurt her dog, and that we could ransack the apartment, the condo, take what we wanted. And wait for Gregg to come home. And when Gregg came home, we were to kill him.”
ABC said when Gregg Smart walked in, Flynn and Randall said they jumped him and forced him to kneel down on the floor. Randall said he held a knife in front of his face but it was Flynn who fatally shot him. Meanwhile, Fowler and Lattime Jr., were waiting outside in a getaway car.
During the trial, Flynn took the stand and explained how he’d been convinced that he and Smart could only be together “if we killed Gregg. Because she can’t divorce him.”
Ultimately, a jury decided Smart was guilty of masterminding her husband’s murder.
ABC said Flynn and Randall each served 25 years in prison for second-degree murder and both men were paroled in June 2015. Lattime Jr. served 15 years in prison and was paroled in August 2005. Fowler served 12 years in prison and was paroled in 2003.
In a 1995 interview, ABC News’ Diane Sawyer asked Flynn what would be the one question he would ask Smart if given the chance.
Flynn answered,“Whether or not she really ever loved me. In hindsight, that might not seem like a very big deal to most people, but knowing that she had me do this and that I did go through with it and that she never really loved me would probably kill me.”
In a separate interview with Sawyer, Smart was asked if she really loved Flynn and told Sawyer, “Yes… I think I did really love him.”
In a “20/20” interview, Smart says she still loves Flynn.
“I loved him,” she told “20/20.” "I cared for him. I had feelings. People act like I just used him and went lurking through the school looking for somebody to manipulate. And it was just really wasn’t even like that.”
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