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Teen Who Brutally Murdered 4-Year-Old Boy in 1990s Is Released From Prison, Will Live in Queens

Eric Smith, pictured, who killed 4-year-old Derrick Robie in 1993, has been released from prison (Photo: Dept. of Corrections and Community Supervision)

Feb. 2, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

A man who was 13 when he brutally killed a 4-year-old boy nearly 30 years ago has been released from prison and is expected to live in Queens.

Eric Smith was convicted of second-degree murder in 1994 for luring Derrick Robie into a wooded area in Steuben County, New York, in 1993 and crushing his skull with a rock before sexually assaulting him with a stick.

The case shocked the nation given the nature of the crime as well as Smith’s young age.

Smith, now 42, was released from prison on parole Tuesday after spending nearly 28 years behind bars for the murder, according to the Dept. of Corrections and Community Supervision.

The child-killer was granted parole in October, on his 11th attempt. However, Smith’s release was delayed because he had not provided an approved address of where he intended to live, which is required for parolees.

Smith, however, will be living in Queens under supervision, according to multi reports citing the state department of corrections.

It is unclear where in Queens Smith will live. The Queens Post reached out to the department of corrections for comment but has yet to receive a response.

The horrid incident took place on Aug. 2, 1993 when Smith rode his bicycle to a local pavilion hosting a summer camp and discovered it was closed.

Smith, who said he was irritated that it was shut, started riding away from the pavilion when he spotted Robie walking alone toward the same camp. He then enticed the 4-year-old into a secluded wooded area in the village of Savona, where they both lived.

Smith then proceeded to strangle Robie before smashing a large rock on the boy’s head. He then sodomized him with a stick.

He was tried as an adult and convicted by a jury for the horrific killing.

The jury rejected the argument presented by Smith’s defense that he had a mental disorder. His lawyers argued that he should have been committed to a psychiatric facility as opposed to prison.

Smith told various parole boards that he carried out the murder because he was angry that his family members and classmates bullied him — so he took out his frustration on Robie.

“He didn’t deserve anything that I did to him; no one deserved that kind of violence,” Smith said at his 2014 parole hearing, according to a published report.

“What I did to him was brutal… uncalled for and wrong.”

Smith, according to the transcript, said he decided to kill Robie—after initially hurting him—because he thought he would get into trouble if the boy got up and told on him.

He claimed that he thought by inserting a stick into Robie it would reach and “stop his heart.”

Asked in his October hearing why he was bullied, he responded: “My ears, my glasses, being short, my red hair, pretty much all of those, if not one, an accumulative of all of them.”

Smith told the board in October that he is deeply remorseful for Robie’s death and hoped the boy’s parents could forgive him one day, according to the transcripts.

Robie’s parents have opposed Smith’s parole each time he has been up for release.

Smith said he has come a long way since the murder and is not a danger to society. He told the board he is engaged to be married and is working toward a degree in crusade evangelism.

“I assure you that if you were to give me the chance I would not only prove that I’m not a threat, I would definitely be an asset to society.”

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17 Comments

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Anonymous

He shouldn’t have received parol at all! He should have remained in prison for the rest of his life for what he did to that little boy. I feel for Robie’s parents. Why should he get a chance to continue with life on the outside, when Robie will not!! The American justice system is rediculous.

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To: You use excuses like punishment to justify your inhumanity

Let me remind you, again, the victim is Derrick Robie, who was killed, YES, killed (details you want to ignore I guess). The victim is not Smith. You go and tell your story of how difficult it has been for Smith to Robie, oh wait, you can’t. You should be respect Robie’s memory at least. And by the way, at 13, It was pretty clear to me the I should not kill people.

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Vengeance is not yours

Criminals must pay their debt to society as mandated by the courts and they must pay what an arrogant self righteous blowhard has determined is an even more suitable punishment. A blowhard who most certainly wouldn’t have the guts to say it to his face. That’s for sure.

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Critic Al

How about, I hope he gets the help he needs as he adjusts to life outside of prison. His crimes were horrific. Let’s reallocate money from the police budget to mental health issues and programs that address human struggles. Let’s help him not get arrested again.

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Tell that to Derrick Robie

Let me remind you.
A kid is gone, killed by this guy for no reason. He didn’t get to grow up, have a family, work, basically to LIVE. This killer should have been in prison for life, because the kid he killed will never be back.

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Are you kidding me?

Are you serious? “he made a mistake”. HE KILLED A BOY, what part of that are you missing? It wasn’t even an accident. Just imagine that kid could have been your son, your cousin, your brother or just your friend, what’s wrong with you people? Killing is not just “a mistake”.

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Shakima

I would be happy to have this man in my neighborhood. I think he has changed. Everyone needs to chill.

You use excuses like punishment to justify your inhumanity

@Blood thirsty – We have a murder victim in our family, we don’t need to just imagine. Let us remind you ( since you’re so big on reminding us) Eric Smith was just a child too during the commission of his horrible crimes. Eric Smith has a family too and was somebody’s child as well. Eric Smith spent his youth and his entire adult life incarcerated because of his horrible crimes. Your constantly “repeating the details” of the crime does not add anything to the discussion or really remind anyone of anything and your bully style makes you appear arrogant.

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Leo

All of you are seeing too many horror movies. Everything will be ok. He served his time. I’m sure that he is sorry for what he did.

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Jack

I have children and don’t want this creature in my neighborhood. We need to organize and put him back where he belongs!

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Mima

People have a right to know what part of Queens is he living, parents need to be alert, monsters like him can not be trusted on the streets…..

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More liberals in Queens

He will be housed in the same half way house as the rapist caught around Christmas time in the Holiday Inn by Horace Harding BLVD. The rapist was a registered sex offender.

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Tom

Look at this guy. Even if he were a bank president I wouldn’t want him living near me. He will do it again.

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Anonymous

Everyone needs to know where is he is living , especially the people who have children , he doesn’t deserve the privacy or any rights and his life should be made miserable daily until the day he dies

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