By Michael T. Baldwin
Erik Smith, who is now age 41, is a free man. In 1993, he was accused of luring 4-year-old Derrick Robie of Avoca, then assaulted and sexually assaulted the child.
After nearly a dozen attempts, the young man was finally granted parole from The Woodbourne Correctional Facility where he has served 27 years. Smith will live in Queens County, according to an agency spokesperson.
Smith was 13 when he was accused of killing Derrick Robie in August 1993 in the Village of Savona. This reporter has followed the case and family. According to the state prison system, Smith was release from custody this week. He was tried as an adult and convicted of second-degree murder following a trial in Steuben County Court.
Derrick’s parents, Dale and Doreen Robie, opposed Smith’s release every time he came up for parole, and also used their son’s murder to push for stricter limits on parole hearings — including requiring felony offenders to wait five years, rather than the current two, between hearings.