ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A New York state prison inmate serving a life term for killing a 4-year-old boy when he was 13 has been denied parole for the seventh time.
Eric Smith is serving nine years to life in prison for killing Derrick Robie in the western New York village of Savona. He was convicted of murder in 1994 for luring the little boy into the woods where he hit him with a rock, stuffed paper in his mouth and crushed his skull with a 26-pound rock.
The 34-year-old Smith is in maximum-security Collins Correctional Facility south of Buffalo.
After a hearing Friday, the parole board says the "serious and brutal" crime is more compelling than Smith's clean disciplinary record, positive prison programming and release plans.
The board notes "significant community opposition" to Smith's release from prison.