QUEENS, N.Y. (WETM) – One year ago today was the end of a saga nearly 30 years in the making: convicted Steuben County killer Eric Smith was released from prison after 27 years.

Early in the morning on February 1, 2022, the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision announced that Eric Smith was released from the Woodburne Correctional Facility in Sullivan County. Smith was released to live downstate in Queens, N.Y.

Smith was granted parole in October 2021 after being denied 10 consecutive times. Smith said he said he would likely stay with his mother until he can find his own place. His mother, Tammy Smith’s, address is unknown.

Left: Eric Smith/Right: Derrick Robie

He then explained plans to either get an apartment or put a down payment on a house of his own and hopefully move in with his fiancee.

His release in Feb. 2022 came almost three months after his originally-planned release date in Nov. 2021. However, his release was delayed for months because Smith didn’t have an approved address.

Steuben County District Attorney Brooks Baker, who assisted Tunney in Smith’s case 28 years ago, told 18 News “It was one of the most shocking and tragic collections of events I’ve ever been had the misfortune to be around. So the idea he’s being released is still difficult for most of us to stomach, but I guess that unfortunately that ship is sailed and that’s a decision made by state parole and not by anybody else so we can’t influence at this stage.”

Smith made national headlines in 1993 when, at age 13, he lured 4-year-old Derrick Robie into the woods in Savona, beat him in the head with a rock, and sodomized him with a stick. He confessed to the murder a week later and was convicted to nine years to life in prison.