Watch CBS News

"Ice cream with sprinkles": Parents of murdered boy celebrate son's memory with his favorite treat

"48 Hours" previews "Gambling on a Killer"
"48 Hours" previews "Eric Smith: Gambling on a Killer" 03:08

The parents of 4-year-old murder victim have made an extraordinary choice — to let go of decades of anger so they can begin to heal.

In 1993, 13-year-old Eric Smith killed Derrick Robie in a fit of rage. Smith was convicted and locked up for 28 years. Then, in February, he was set free. Smith, now 42, has been paroled to Queens, New York. 

Derrick Robie
Derrick Robie was 4 when he was murdered near his home in Savona, New York. Robie family

"I understand why after so many years they decided to give him a chance. And that's fine, you know for him and his family," Derrick's mother Doreen Robie tells "48 Hours" contributor Jim Axelrod in "Eric Smith: Gambling on a Killer," airing Saturday, March 26 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount +. 

Dale and Doreen Robie say Smith's release begins a new chapter after fighting for so long to keep him in prison.

Doreen and Dale Robie
Doreen and Dale Robie CBS News

"You know he's been released. But in a way so have we," Doreen Robie said in the couple's first extended interview since Smith's release.. "No more parole. … I can get on with our lives. … Now the true healing can begin."

Killer of 4-year-old boy freed, parents begin to heal 03:32

To do that, the Robies have chosen to focus on family, friends, and the joyful memories of their beloved son.

"August second, the day we lost him, we always try and go to do something fun. White ice cream with sprinkles. That's what Derrick called vanilla, so we try to — " Dale Robie said, overcome with emotion.

"Wherever we are, we have to go find ice cream," said Doreen Robie.

"Even though it's sad. It's happy," Dale Robie said through tears.

(Editor's note: This broadcast was preempted on March 19 by NCAA tournament coverage.)   

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.