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Isimemen Etute, former Virginia Tech footballer, acquitted of murder


The former Virginia Tech football player accused of beating a Tinder date to death 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 lawyer claimed he acted in self-defence.

A jury in Christiansburg, Virginia deliberated for three hours before reaching the verdict, according to The Roanoke Times.

Etute said he visited Smith last April to engage in oral sex, after corresponding with someone named “Angie” on Tinder. The following month, he returned to the victim’s apartment to verify her gender.

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

Etute spoke up in his own defense earlier this week and said he felt “violated” that his date had lied about his gender. The defendant said Smith insisted they meet in the dark and took what he thought was a gun.

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

People react as Isimemen Etute is acquitted in his trial.
Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times/AP

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

Prosecutor Patrick Jensen argued Smith was unable to get his knife and said the 153-pound man was no match for the ‘elite college athlete’ who weighed 6 feet 8 inches and 205 lbs.

“It’s a big disparity,” Jensen said.

Patrick Jensen, Deputy Chief Commonwealth Prosecutor, delivers his closing statement during the murder trial of Isimemen David Etute.
Patrick Jensen, Deputy Chief Commonwealth Prosecutor, delivers his closing statement during the murder trial of Isimemen Etute.
Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times/AP

Etute was suspended by Virginia Tech and the Hokies football team after being charged with murder.

With AP wires

New York Post

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remon

Passionate troublemaker. Amateur gamer. Lifelong alcohol specialist. Social media nerd. Thinker
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