Eric Smith granted parole

WOODBOURNE, N.Y. (WHEC) – Eric Smith, who was 13 when he murdered a Steuben County four-year-old, has been granted parole.

Smith, who is now 41, could be released from Woodbourne Correctional Facility in Sullivan County as early as November 17. He was denied parole the previous 10 times.

Smith was convicted in the 1993 murder of Derrick Robie. He killed Robie in the woods near his Savona home by smashing his head with a rock and sodomizing him with a stick.

News10NBCs Charles Molineaux spoke Friday afternoon with John Tunney, the district attorney who prosecuted the case. In the past, he had said he though Smith could have been on his way to being a full-on serial killer. Today, he says he was not one advocating to keep Smith locked up "until he rots", and that he hopes all those years in prison offered him a chance to change. Tunney points out that Smith will be on parole for the rest of his life.

News10NBC is requesting transcripts of the hearing through the Freedom of Information Law.

"I was kind of hoping I didn’t have to face this particular time,” sighed Marlene Wilkinson knew Smith well and ended up in the thick of the investigation 28 years ago. "Every year, I keep praying that he doesn’t get out,” said Wilkinson.