Now 41, man who killed 4-year-old at age 13 granted parole

ALBANY (N.Y.) -- Eric M. Smith was 13 years old when he attacked a boy in Western New York with a rock. According to corrections officials, Smith has been granted parole.

Now 41, man who killed 4-year-old at age 13 granted parole

ALBANY (N.Y.) -- Eric M. Smith was 13 years old when he attacked a boy in Western New York with a rock. According to corrections officials, Smith has been granted parole.

Smith, now 41 years old, appeared before the Board of Parole for the eleventh time on October 5, and was released as soon as Nov. 17, according to an email statement from the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

The transcripts of the hearing did not become available immediately.

Smith was convicted in 1994 of second-degree murder for leading Derrick Robie through woods and hitting his head with a rock. Robie was alone walking to summer camp in a park near the Steuben County village Savona in August 1993.

Due to the young age of both the victim and the suspect, the case received wide publicity. There was also a widely circulated photograph of Smith, an adolescent, in court wearing a Bugs Bunny sweatshirt with a mop and red hair.

Smith's lawyer failed to convince him that Smith was mentally ill. Smith was sentenced for nine years to life imprisonment.

Dale Robie and Doreen Robie were opposed to Smith's release every time it was considered. They lobbied for parole reforms, which include an extension of the time between hearings for violent offenders, from the current two-years to five.

Dale Robie stated to local media that the family didn't want to comment on the most recent decision.

Smith is currently being held at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility, Catskills, which is medium-security.

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