Derrick Robie Wiki
Derrick Robie Biography
Who was Derrick Robie?
In August 1993, Eric Smith was a red-haired, freckled 13-year-old boy bullied when he lured four-year-old Derrick Robie into the woods in Savona, New York, where he then strangled and beat the boy to death. with stones, and then sexually abused the body with a stick.
Smith was convicted of the second degree in 1994 and sentenced to between nine years and life in prison.
In October last year, Smith, now 41, appeared before the Parole Board for the 11th time and was finally released after successfully arguing that he was a different man and no longer posed a risk to the society.
Derricks’ parents opposed Smith’s release every time he appeared before the parole board, which was every two years since he turned 21.
Although Smith was eligible for release last November, his release was delayed until February because it took him months to find housing.
Smith now lives in Queens, New York, and has a fiancée.
His case is the subject of CBS’s latest installment of 48 Hours, airing Saturday night.
Doreen Robie, Derrick’s mother, told the true crime show that now that her son’s killer is out, she is worried about the safety of her loved ones, but she doesn’t spend her days thinking about him.
“I don’t let it take up space in my head,” she said. ‘I don’t focus on where he is, what he’s doing. …because I don’t care. As long as you’re not around friends and family.
Doreen recalled that on August 2, 1993, she let her son, Derrick, walk for the first time to summer camp located just a block from her home in the Steuben County town of Savona.
“He kissed me and I said, ‘I love you,'” she told Doreen for 48 hours. He says, “I love you, mom.” And he was hopping off the sidewalk.
Blond and cherubic-faced, Derrick played T-ball and was popular in the community, where he was known as “the unofficial mayor of Savona.”
Smith was arrested a few days later and confessed to the murder.
By contrast, Smith, nearly a decade older than Derrick, had been relentlessly bullied by other kids, leaving him angry.
When Smith saw Derrick walking alone, he offered to show the boy a shortcut to camp. Instead, he lured the four-year-old boy into a forest and killed him by strangling him and beating him to death with stones.
Parents reported Derrick missing a short time later. Within hours, police found the boy’s body.
As cops searched for the killer, a friend of Eric Smith’s family told 48 Hours that she noticed the 13-year-old was acting strange. At one point, Marlene Heskell recalled him asking her what would happen if the person responsible for the murder turned out to be a child.
She said, “I think they really need psychiatric help.” And he [said], “Oh, okay,” you know. And he left,” he said.
During his 2004 parole hearing, Smith, who claimed to have been a victim of bullying, admitted that it felt good to strangle Derrick “because instead of hurting me, I was hurting someone else.” He also said that if he hadn’t been arrested in 1993, he probably would have killed again.
In an interview with WENY-TV in 2009, Smith said of the murder, “my anger was not directed at Derrick at all,” Smith explained. “It was directed at…all the other guys who used to pick on me.” And when I was torturing and killing Derrick… that’s what I saw in my head.’
Smith said that when he saw the popular blond Derrick on the street, he felt the urge to kill him. Speaking in a jailhouse interview in 2009, Smith said his anger was not directed at Derrick, but at his own thugs.
Smith said that after years of therapy, he was a different man, not a ‘freak’.
Smith apologized to the Robies and said that if he could switch places with Derrick ‘and take the grave for him to live in, he would do it in a second…’
The convicted murderer said that after years of therapy, he was a different man, not the ‘murderer’ and ‘Satan incarnate’ that he has been made out to be.
Smith expressed his hope that he would one day be freed and free to pursue the ‘American Dream’.
“I want to, you know, get married and start a family,” he said more than a decade ago, “you know, keep… a job.”
During his 11th parole board hearing last October, Smith revealed that he was engaged to a woman who had written to him in prison, asking him questions about the juvenile justice system because she was in law school. The two met and fell in love.
While in prison, Smith said he found God and was working toward a degree in cross evangelism.
“I’m not a threat,” Smith told the board. ‘The 13-year-old boy who took [Derrick’s] life… is not the man sitting across from you talking… if you gave me the opportunity, I would not only prove that I am not a threat. He would definitely be an asset to society.