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Eric M. Smith
Born January 22, 1980 (1980-01-22) (age 30)
Steuben County, New York
Occupation Medium Security Prisoner

Eric M. Smith (born January 22, 1980) is an American criminal, incarcerated for the murder, sexual abuse and mutilation of four-year-old Derrick Robie (born October 2, 1988) on August 2, 1993, in Steuben County, New York.

According to court documents, Smith, a loner, was often tormented by bullies for his protruding low-set ears, thick glasses, red hair and freckles. The murder case made national headlines, largely due to the young ages of the killer (13 years) and of the victim (4 years).

Robie 4 yrs old was walking to the park ALONE.  There Smith strangled Robie, dropped a pair of large rocks on the boy’s head, undressed his body, and sodomized him with a tree limb. The cause of death was determined to be blunt trauma to the head with contributing asphyxia.  Two days after Robie's funeral, Smith admitted to Robie's killing. In 1994 Smith was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to the maximum term then available for juvenile murderers — a minimum of nine years to life in prison.

While in jail, Smith wrote an apology letter to Robie's family; he read it on public television: "I know my actions have caused a terrible loss in the Robie family, and for that, I am truly sorry. I've tried to think as much as possible about what Derrick will never experience: his 16th birthday, Christmas, anytime, owning his own house, graduating, going to college, getting married, his first child. If I could go back in time, I would switch places with Derrick and endure all the pain I've caused him. If it meant that he would go on living, I'd switch places, but I can't."

Smith has been denied parole four times since 2002, most recently in June 2008. He is next eligible for parole in May 2010. [1] If granted parole, Smith has stated an intent to return to Savona. He was held in a juvenile facility for six years. In 2001, he was transferred to the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, a maximum security prison. As of February 25, 2009, Smith is still at Clinton Correctional Facility.

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