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Handgun used in the murder of Gregory Smart in 1990. (Union Leader File)

Judge denies release of murder weapon in Pam Smart case


BRENTWOOD — A judge has denied releasing the murder weapon used to kill Pamela Smart’s husband, a gun that was a key piece of evidence in New Hampshire’s most notorious murder trial.

Judge Andrew Schulman denied a request by the father of Vance Lattime Jr., agreeing with state prosecutors who maintained that evidence needed to be preserved in case Smart tries to upend her conviction in the May 1990 killing of her husband, Gregory.

Smart has spent more than two decades trying to overturn her life-without-parole sentence for convincing William Flynn, her teenage lover, to kill her husband. Flynn used the gun to shoot Gregory Smart at Smart’s condominium in Derry on May 1, 1990.

“No one can predict the future when it comes to potential legal action by a defendant serving a life-without-parole sentence,” Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said in an objection.

Lattime Jr. supplied the gun, which was owned by his father, and provided the getaway car on the night of the killing.

He was paroled in 2005 after he served 15 years behind bars for accomplice to second-degree murder.

Flynn, then 16, was having an affair with Smart, a media coordinator at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton.

She threatened to break up with Flynn if he didn’t kill her husband.

Flynn and Patrick Randall were released from prison in June. Inside the Smarts’ condo, Randall held a knife to Greg Smart’s throat while Flynn fired the fatal shot.

Mark Stevens, a lawyer for Vance Lattime Sr., said in court papers that his client had discussions with the Attorney General’s Office and Derry police about the return of his revolver.

Lattime Sr. has been seeking the return of the gun from the state since 2011, according to an affidavit filed in court.

Lattime Sr. said he turned in the revolver to Seabrook police in June 1990 once he learned from his son’s friend that it “might have been used in a crime.”

Stevens suggested in court papers that it would be highly unlikely that the state would need the gun again, and his client had a lawful right to take possession of it.

“While Pamela Smart could, hypothetically, repastinate the same claims of error that have universally failed at all levels of state and federal court review, or advance some other legal theory that she has not brought up in the past quarter century, this is not a valid legal basis for keeping Mr. Lattime’s property from him any longer,” Stevens said in a court motion.

Lattime Sr. said in the affidavit that he has conversations with former state Attorney General (now U.S. Sen.) Kelly Ayotte, and members of the Derry Police Department about getting back his gun.

Schulman is expected to write an opinion supporting his denial of the request.

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