Eric Smith was imprisoned for 28 years for the murder of a 4-year-old boy in 1993. In February, he was released from prison. Is he a different person now? In their first extensive interview since Smith’s release in “Eric Smith: Gambling on a Killer,” the parents of the murdered child speak with “48 Hours” and CBS News Chief Investigative and Senior National Correspondent Jim Axelrod.
Who is Eric Smith?
A terrifying series of events that began in August 2013 changed Eric’s life forever. Smith was a 13-year-old adolescent living in Steuben County, New York at the time.
Smith is currently 42 years old. His fiancee studies law. Smith is said to want to marry and have children. He stated during one of his plea trials:
What did Eric do?
On August 2, 1993, Eric, then 13 years old, brutally tortured and murdered Derrick Robie, a four-year-old boy from the same town. Eric tricked Derrick into following him into the woods, where he strangled and bled the boy to death.
After his mother and father filed a missing person report for him, police discovered the boy’s battered body in the forest, shocking the entire small town of Steuben County, New York.
What happened after the horrifying incident?
Eric Smith was taken to the case investigators by his mother and a family friend after the terrifying incident, where he admitted to his heinous crime.
In August 1994, Smith was sentenced to nine years in prison by the court. When he was 21, he was taken to a juvenile detention centre and later transferred to jail.
Why did Eric commit the monstrous crime?
According to reports, Eric committed the crime because he was fed up with being bullied. He was picked on by other teenagers at school because of his freckles and red hair.
He was furious with those boys even after he murdered Derrick Robie. In an interview with CBS News, he stated:
Where is Eric now?
After being released from prison after 28 years, Eric relocated to Queens, New York, where he now resides. During his plea trials, he expressed remorse and regret and stated:
What happens to Smith now?
According to the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Smith got out of Woodbourne Correctional Facility in February and planned to move to Queens County.
Smith informed the Parole Board that he is engaged to be married to a woman who first contacted him while he was studying to be a lawyer and conducting research on the juvenile justice system.
He also said that he has certificates in both carpentry fabrication and electrical installation and that he will probably look for work in one of those fields.
Smith can’t leave New York State without his parole officer’s permission, and he can’t hang out with people who are known to be doing illegal things.
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