You are reading

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.”

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Second worker injury at Edgemere Commons construction site leads to new calls for removal of general contractor

South Queens elected officials, and the leader of the union that represents 10,000 construction workers, are renewing their call for the city to remove the general contractor on the Edgemere Commons mega-project in Far Rockaway after a worker was injured on the site in early February.

The incident took place about two weeks after elected officials and union leaders held a rally at the site on Jan. 25 in opposition to the general contractor, Joy Construction, after a worker was struck in the knee on Dec. 23 by splintered wood.

Dozens of people, believed to be migrants, found living in cramped Queens cellar

Mayor Eric Adams confirmed that dozens of people, believed to be migrants, were found living illegally inside a commercial business in South Richmond Hill on Monday afternoon.

The cellar dwellers were discovered inside an illegal conversion of a 2-story, mixed-use building on Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill, according to the city’s Department of Buildings. DOB Inspectors were called to the scene at 132-03 Liberty Ave. by FDNY first responders after fire prevention inspectors acting on a tip found the people living in cramped and illegal conditions.

NYPD honors school crossing guard who was killed at dangerous Queens intersection in October

Fallen school crossing guard Krystyna Naprawa was posthumously promoted by the NYPD to the rank of community coordinator during a ceremony at One Police Plaza on Thursday attended by her family, friends and dozens of colleagues.

The 14-year veteran was killed while on duty on the morning of Oct. 20 after safely guiding children across a busy intersection on Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue in Woodhaven. Moments later, Naprawa was struck by a turning dump truck that proceeded to run her over. EMS pronounced her dead at the scene.