Pamela Smart Trial: 1991
Payoff For Murder: Stereo Speakers And $250
Vance Lattime, driver of the getaway car, told the jury that Smart gave him a pair of stereo speakers and promised an additional $250 for his part in the slaying. He added that, prior to the murder, she asked the other gang members how she should act upon finding her husband's body. "She didn't know whether to scream, run from house to house or call the police. We told her just to act normal." About one point Lattime was adamant: Smart insisted that they shoot her husband rather than stab him, because she didn't want blood splattered all over her white furniture.
When William Flynn took the stand, he tearfully recounted how Smart seduced him, interspersing the sexual blandishments with repeated and ever more urgent stories of physical abuse inflicted by Greg Smart on his wife, especially one incident when he locked her out of the house in winter while she was clad in only her nightclothes. Flynn said, "She started crying and said the only way she could see for us to be together was if we killed Greg." At first Flynn doubted Smart's seriousness, but as her temper and threats worsened, he yielded to her demands. "I was afraid if I didn't do it, she would leave me."
Flynn described to an emotion-packed courtroom how he put the revolver to Smart's head, then uttered, "God, forgive me," before pulling the trigger.
"Why did you say 'God, forgive me?'" asked Assistant Attorney General Paul Maggiotto.
"Because I didn't want to kill Greg," said Flynn. "I wanted to be with Pam, and that's what I had to do to be with Pam."
Of all the prosecution witnesses, none created more of an impact or did more damage than Cecelia Pierce, 16, another Winnacunnet High School student. She repeated a conversation with Smart: "I have a choice: either kill Greg or get a divorce," she quoted Smart as saying. "I told her to get a divorce," Pierce said. Asked how Smart responded, Pierce replied, "She said she couldn't, because Greg would take the dog and the furniture and she wouldn't have any money or a place to live."
Pierce did admit prior knowledge of the murder plot even to the point of aiding Smart in her search for a gun, but she claimed that conscience led her to the police afterward. At their behest she secretly taped several conversations with Smart. In one, Smart ordered Pierce to keep quiet, otherwise they would all "go to the slammer for the rest of our entire lives." On another occasion Smart boasted of committing the perfect murder.
Sisti cast a pall over much of this testimony by revealing that Pierce had sold the rights to her story to a Hollywood production company for a considerable sum of money. "What this all comes down to," he said, "is that you have a shot at $100,000 … and you claim to have been Pam's best friend?"
"Yes," admitted Pierce.