By Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2020

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Eric M. Smith, who was 13 when he killed a 4-year-old boy with a rock in western New York, has been denied parole for a 10th time, state corrections officials confirmed Thursday.

Smith, now 40, was convicted of second-degree murder in 1994 and sentenced to nine years to life in prison for killing Derrick Robie in the Steuben County village of Savona. Robie was walking alone to summer camp at a park near his home when Smith lured him into woods and smashed his head with a rock.

At his trial, Smith’s lawyer unsuccessfully argued that Smith was mentally ill and shouldn’t be convicted of murder. Smith has since apologized for his actions and told a parole board in 2014 that he had held in his rage and frustration after years of bullying and took it out on a little boy who didn’t deserve it.

Smith is housed at the medium-security Woodbourne Correctional Facility in the Catskills and is next up for parole in October 2021.

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