Eric Smith, Steuben County child killer, set to be released next week; no approved address yet


(WETM) – Eric Smith, nationally known for killing 4-year-old Derrick Robie in 1993, is set to be released on Nov. 17 after spending 27 years in prison.

According to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Smith does not yet have an “approved residence” as of Nov. 12.

Former Steuben County District Attorney John Tunney, who originally prosecuted Smith, told 18 News that in prior parole hearings Smith indicated wanted to return to his hometown of Savona.

In 2012, the Steuben Courier reported that Smith had changed his mind and said he would not want to return to Savona.

“When making housing decisions, DOCCS seeks to enhance public safety and facilitate the successful return of individuals to the community by considering risk levels, laws, and accessibility to an individual’s support system. Each housing decision is made on a case-by-case basis.”


Smith made national headlines in 1993 when, at 13 years old, he lured 4-year-old Derrick Robie into the woods in Steuben County, strangled him, crushed his head with a rock, and sodomized him with a stick. A jury unanimously found Smith guilty of second-degree murder.

Smith appeared for the 11th time before the Board of Parole on October 5 where he was granted his pending release.

18 News has submitted a request for Smith’s most recent parole interview transcript but has yet to get a response.

The Robie family declined a request for an interview in October following Smith’s parole hearing.

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