READ: Copy of parole transcript for soon-to-be-released child killer Eric Smith details crime, post-release plans
STEUBEN COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM/WHEC) — News10NBC has obtained a copy of the transcript from the parole hearing that led to the approved pending release of Eric Smith, nationally known for killing 4-year-old Derrick Robie in Stueben County.
That murder happened in Savona back in 1993.
Smith was granted parole back in October after serving 28 years and was scheduled to be released on Nov. 17, but his release has been stalled because he does not have an approved residence. He expected to be released from prison sometime this month.
The transcript, which is 30 pages long, was obtained through a Freedom of Information Request that was granted by The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.
You can view the transcript here. A warning, the document contained highly sensitive and graphic material. Reader discretion is advised.
The transcript from early October details Eric Smith’s actions the day he killed Robie, his remorse and his plans for after he’s released. It starts with him detailing and explaining what drove him to murder the four-year-old in the woods near his home in Savona.
Smith said many factors led to the violent murder including years of bullying for being weaker and smaller adding that his dad was emotionally and psychologically abusive and would verbally put him down.
When asked why he did it, Smith said “No one deserves that type of violence. At the time I was holding a lot of anger and unresolved issues with a lot of individuals that I lashed out on [redacted] and I displaced my anger that was unresolved with other individuals on him. It should have never happened."
On the day of the murder, Smith said he had left a summer camp program annoyed and irritated and wanted to take his anger out when he spotted Robie and it was his way to release that anger that was inside him.
Smith was seemingly remorseful in the interview and was asked what he would say to the Robie family if he had the chance.
"If they were sitting in front of me right now I would say that I’m sorry, and even though that would almost cause them more emotional pain because sorry is not bringing him back,” Smith said. “I can do the best I can to express to them the insight that I’ve gained in hopes that at some point they can get to a point where they feel comfortable to say, for themselves, "I forgive you." even though I don’t deserve that."
The board reviewed Smith’s progress in prison and records and how he has grown over the last 27 years.
Smith said he is currently in the process of getting his associate’s degree out of a Florida college.
As for his plans after he’s released he hopes to get an apartment or save enough for a down payment on a home and stay with his fiancée who he got engaged to in 2019.
He also hopes to get a job in electrical installation or carpentry fabrication as he has certificates in both and plans to do volunteer work with a food pantry.
Smith was supposed to be released Wednesday, News10NBC checked in with the New York State Department of Corrections to see where that stands.
They say: “At this time, Eric Smith does not yet have an approved residence. The department will continue to work with Mr. Smith on identifying an approvable residence."
News10NBC will continue to provide updates when Smith is released.
Additionally, he told the interviewer he would first plan to live with his mother until he could find his own place. Smith said he also plans to find work, or possibly join a ministry.
The transcript of convicted Steuben County child killer Eric Smith’s 11th parole hearing has been released. He’s expected to be released from prison today after killing 4 year old Derrick Robie in 1993. I’m going through the 30 page transcript & will have the latest on @news10nbc pic.twitter.com/yj3yU6SKvL— Raven Tiara Brown (@WHEC_RBrown) November 17, 2021
Our Elmira affiliate, WETM, previously reported that Smith was expected to present a plan for life following incarceration, including potential employment and a residence at his parole hearing because he will need to be monitored by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for the rest of his life due to the nature of his sentence.