Suspended Virginia Tech football player makes first court appearance following murder charges

His next court appearance is set for September 23

The suspended Virginia Tech football player accused of murdering a Blacksburg man went before a judge for the first time today.

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The suspended Virginia Tech football player accused of murdering a Blacksburg man went before a judge for the first time today.

Police arrested Isimemen Etute for the death of Jerry Smith on Monday. Now, he is facing a second-degree murder charge in Montgomery County.

Etute appeared virtually from the Montgomery County Jail where he was taken into custody on Thursday and denied bond.

During court, a judge assigned him to a court-appointed attorney who will represent him for the rest of the case.

Radford City Vice Mayor and attorney Naomi Huntington has been chosen to represent Etute.

According to the arrest warrants obtained by 10 News, police said the murder took place on Monday.

Blacksburg Police say Etute and 40-year-old Jerry Smith were acquaintances.

We’re told investigators went into Smith’s home on North Main Street above the Hokie Mart for a welfare check late Tuesday night.

That’s when they found Smith dead and launched the murder investigation.

The Richmond unit of the FBI has offered assistance to the Blacksburg Police Department as they continue to investigate the case.

We spoke with the Black Hen where Smith worked, but they would not give 10 News an interview.

10 News had interviewed Smith a handful of times in the past for different projects or programs he had been a part of.

Etute has since been suspended by the Virginia Tech Football Team.

At this point, the motive is not clear.

His next court appearance is set for September 23.


About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.