Former Virginia Tech football player Isimemen Etute acquitted of murder

The former Virginia Tech football player, who is accused of killing off a Tinder date after mistaking him for a woman, was acquitted of second-degree murder on Friday.

Isimemen Etute, 19, was found not guilty in the 2021 death of Jerry Smith, 40, after his attorney argued he acted in self-defense.

According to The Roanoke Times, a Christiansburg, Virginia jury deliberated for three hours before returning the verdict.

Etute had said he visited Smith to have oral sex last April after meeting someone named “Angie” on Tinder. The next month, he returned to the victim’s home to verify his gender.

The linebacker then groped Smith before allegedly beating him to death, a detective said.

Etute took a stand in his own defense earlier this week, saying he felt “hurt” that his date lied about his gender. The defendant said Smith insisted they meet in the dark and reached for what he believed to be a gun.

Etute testified that he punched Smith five times and kicked him to escape from the apartment.

The gallery reacts to the conclusion of the trial of Isimemen Etute in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
People react when Isimemen Etute is acquitted at his trial.
Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times/AP

Police said Smith didn’t have a gun, but detectives found a knife under his mattress. Defense attorney Jimmy Turk argued that Etute acted in self-defense and his fear and the victim’s gun were disregarded by police.

Prosecutor Patrick Jensen argued that Smith was unable to get his knife and said the 153-pound man was the “elite college athlete” who was listed as 6-foot-3, 205-pounds , physically not grown.

“That’s a big difference,” said Jensen.

Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Patrick Jensen presents his closing statement during the Isimemen David Etute murder trial.
Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Patrick Jensen presents his closing statement during the Isimemen Etute murder trial.
Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times/AP

Etute was suspended from Virginia Tech and the Hokies football team after they were charged with murder.

With AP wires

https://nypost.com/2022/05/27/former-virginia-tech-football-player-isimemen-etute-acquitted-of-murder/ Former Virginia Tech football player Isimemen Etute acquitted of murder

JACLYN DIAZ

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