SAVONA, N.Y. (WETM) – A local Facebook group called “Justice for the Robie’s” will be holding a candlelight walk in Savona amid the pending release of 4-year-old Derrick Robie’s killer, Eric Smith.

Smith, nationally known for killing Robie in 1993, is set to be released after spending 27 years in prison following a parole hearing.

The group is planning to begin their march at 4:45 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the intersection of Rt. 415 and E. Lamoka Ave. The march will end at Robie’s memorial near the Little League baseball fields in Savona.

Those bringing signs are asked not to write Smith’s name and to march peacefully in honor and support of the Robie family.

According to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Smith does not yet have an “approved residence” as of Nov. 16.

Former Steuben County District Attorney John Tunney, who originally prosecuted Smith, told 18 News that in prior parole hearings Smith indicated wanted to return to his hometown of Savona.

In 2012, the Steuben Courier reported that Smith had changed his mind and said he would not want to return to Savona.

“When making housing decisions, DOCCS seeks to enhance public safety and facilitate the successful return of individuals to the community by considering risk levels, laws, and accessibility to an individual’s support system. Each housing decision is made on a case-by-case basis.”


Smith made national headlines in 1993 when, at 13 years old, he lured 4-year-old Derrick Robie into the woods in Steuben County, strangled him, crushed his head with a rock, and sodomized him with a stick. A jury unanimously found Smith guilty of second-degree murder.

Smith appeared for the 11th time before the Board of Parole on October 5 where he was granted his pending release.

18 News has submitted a request for Smith’s most recent parole interview transcript but has yet to get a response.

The Robie family declined a request for an interview in October following Smith’s parole hearing.