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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Smith denied parole

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  • COLLINS | Eric Smith will spend at least another two years behind bars after a parole board, for the seventh time, denied his release.
    In a written decision released Monday after a hearing held April 11, the parole board said Smith’s release “would be incompatible with the welfare and safety of society.”
    Smith, 34, has now served nearly 20 years in both juvenile confinement and, since 2001, state prison. He is currently housed at the maximum-security Collins Correctional Facility outside Buffalo.
    He was convicted in 1994 of second-degree murder for the August 1993 killing of 4-year-old Derrick Robie in Savona. He was sentenced to nine years to life in prison.
    Smith, then 13 years old, killed the boy after luring him into a wooded area near Robie’s home. He was walking alone to a summer camp at a nearby park.
    Smith strangled Robie, stuffed his mouth with paper and smashed the boy’s head with a 26-pound rock. He also sodomized Robie with a stick.
    The parole board, in their decision, cited the “deviant nature and brutality” of the crime, and said Smith’s “clean disciplinary record” while in prison failed to diminish the “loss of life caused by (Smith’s) actions.”
    They also acknowledged “significant community opposition” to Smith’s release.
    Smith was first eligible for parole in 2002, after serving his minimum nine-year term.
    At his last parole hearing, in May 2012, Smith told the board he would not return to Savona if released.
    He also said he felt remorse for the killing, but had a desire at the time to hurt someone because he had been bullied.
    A transcript of what Smith said at last week’s parole hearing will be made available some time in the next 10 days, according to the New York State Department of Corrections.
    Smith will be eligible to seek parole again in April 2016.

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