COLLINS, NY (WENY) -- A Savona man serving a life sentence for a 1993 murder will remain behind bars. The New York state Parole board has denied parole for Eric Smith.

Smith is serving a nine years to life sentence for killing four year old Derrick Robie in 1993. Smith at the time was 13 years old; he's now 38 years old, and is eligible for parole every two years. This is the ninth time parole has been denied. Smith currently housed at Collins Correctional Facility in Erie County.

In the Parole Board's decision, they cite the seriousness of Smith's crime, saying they are concerned with the fact Smith released his anger on an innocent four year old boy. However, they acknowledge his "impressive institutional record" in prison, but say release at this time would undermine respect for the law.

In a dissenting opinion, one parole commissioner supported release for Smith, saying Smith is now a mature adult who accepts responsibility. He says after 24 years in prison, additional incarceration serves no purpose.

Smith will go before the parole board again in January 2020.