Convicted child killer Eric Smith released from prison, will live in Queens

Eric Smith, who served 27 years in prison for the 1993 murder of a 4-year-old Steuben County child when he was only 13, is a free man.

Smith, who was granted parole following his 11th hearing in October, was released Tuesday from the Woodbourne Correctional Facility, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Smith will live in Queens County, according to an agency spokesperson.

Smith was 13 when he was accused of killing Derrick Robie in August 1993 in the Village of Savona.

Smith lured Robie into a wooded area near the boy's home. Derrick was walking alone to a summer camp at a nearby park at the time. Smith strangled Derrick, smashed his head with a rock, and sexually abused him.

Smith was taken into custody about a week later, and the case received national attention due to the nature of the crime.

He was tried as an adult and convicted of second-degree murder following a trial in Steuben County Court.

Convicted murderer Eric Smith of Steuben County in state prison in 2004
Convicted murderer Eric Smith of Steuben County in state prison in 2004

Smith, who is now 41, was sentenced to nine years to life in prison and first became eligible for parole in 2002.

Smith was housed in a juvenile facility until 2001, when he was transferred to state prison.

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He was previously denied parole 10 times before the Board of Parole granted his release following an Oct. 5 appearance.

Derrick's parents, Dale and Doreen Robie, opposed Smith's release every time he came up for parole, and also used their son's murder to push for stricter limits on parole hearings — including requiring felony offenders to wait five years, rather than the current two, between hearings.

Under the conditions of his parole, Smith can't leave New York state without permission, must have regular contact with his parole officer, cannot possess any firearms or other deadly weapons, and can't associate with others who are known to be engaged in illegal activity, among other restrictions.

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This article originally appeared on Elmira Star-Gazette: Convicted child killer Eric Smith released from NY prison