SAVONA, N.Y. (WETM) – Dozens gathered in Savona in honor of Derrick Robie as his killer Eric Smith prepares to be released after 28 years in prison.
The four-year-old Robie was killed by Smith in 1993 in a wooded area near the baseball fields in Savona.
Organizers held a peaceful protest on the four corners in Savona holding signs in support of Robie and his family, who have declined to publically comment on Smith’s pending release.
The group then moved to Robie’s memorial near the baseball fields where they lit candles and left signs in honor of Robie.
Mark Failing says he grew up next door to Derrick in Savona and that they decided to come together in support of the Robie family.
“Family and friends want to get together and do something special on this day,” said Failing. “It’s just remembering him and trying to get people to come together.”
The march and vigil were organized by the Facebook group “Justice for the Robie’s.”
According to the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Smith does not yet have an “approved residence” as of 4 p.m. on Nov. 17 and will remain in custody until one is approved.