Albany, NY – Eric M. Smith, who was 13 when he killed a 4-year-old boy with a cliff in western New York, has been granted parole, corrections officials said Saturday.
Smith, now 41, appeared for the 11th time before the parole board on October 5 and was released early November 17, the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said in an emailed statement.
Transcripts of the hearing were not immediately released.
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Smith was convicted of second-degree murder in 1994 for driving Derrick Robbie into the woods near the little boy’s home and hitting him on the head with a rock. Derrick was walking alone to summer camp in a park in the Steuben County village of Savona in August 1993.
The case received wide publicity due to the young age of the victim and suspect, as well as a widely circulated photo of teenage Smith in court, wearing a Bugs Bunny sweatshirt and a mop of red hair.
Smith’s lawyer unsuccessfully argued that he was mentally ill. Smith was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Derrick’s parents, Dale and Doreen Robbie, each time opposed Smith’s release, which had previously been considered, and advocated parole reform that would increase the time between trials for violent offenders from the current two years to five. includes doing.
Del Robbie told local media that the family did not wish to comment on the latest decision.
Smith is housed at the medium-security Woodborne Correctional Facility in the Catskills.