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Steuben Co. child killer denied parole

Collins, N.Y. -- Convicted child killer Eric Smith has been denied parole for the seventh time.

Smith, now 34, was 13 when he beat 4-year-old Derrick Robie to death in a wooded area in Savona, Steuben County, in 1993.

Smith was convicted of second-degree murder in 1994 and sentenced to nine years to life in prison. He's currently being held at Collins Correctional Facility in Erie County.

The parole board cited Smith as a danger to the community if released. Smith has been eligible for parole since 2002.

Below is the full statement from the parole panel. It contains some graphic details, and may be upsetting to some readers.

After a review of the record, interview and deliberation, the panel has determined that your release would be incompatible with the welfare and safety of society and would so depreciate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law. Parole is denied.

Required statutory factors have been considered, together with your institutional adjustment including discipline and program participation, your risk and needs assessment and your needs for successful reentry into the community. Your release plans and any letters of reasonable assurance are also noted.

More compelling, however, are the following: Your serious and brutal instant offense of murder second degree whereby you caused the death of your four-year-old male victim. Records indicate that the victim was brutally beaten and was found with two severe fractures to both temple areas and that he was also sodomized with a stick.

Your positive programming and clean disciplinary record since your last board appearance are both noted, however, neither of which diminishes the serious loss of life caused by your actions. And while the instant offense represents your sole contact with the criminal justice system, the deviant nature and brutality involved is of particular concern to this panel. Therefore, based on all required factors in the file considered, including but not limited to significant community opposition to your release, discretionary release, at this time, is not appropriate.

 
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