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Court hearing reveals new details in case of suspended Virginia Tech player charged in Blacksburg man’s death

The two matched on Tinder where Jerry Smith posed as a woman, according to the Commonwealth’s Attorney

New details came out in court on Wednesday in the case of a suspended Virginia Tech football player accused of murdering a Blacksburg man.
New details came out in court on Wednesday in the case of a suspended Virginia Tech football player accused of murdering a Blacksburg man.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – New details came out in court on Wednesday in the case of a suspended Virginia Tech football player accused of murdering a Blacksburg man.

On June 1, Isimemen Etute was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Jerry Smith a day earlier.

Etute told police that on April 10, he matched with Smith on the dating app Tinder, where Smith was posing as a woman under the alias “Angie,” according to Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt.

When the two later met and engaged in sexual activity, Etute did not know that Smith was a man, according to Etute’s attorney Jimmy Turk.

On May 31, Etute went over to what he thought was Angie’s home and when he found out that Angie was actually Smith, he punched Smith five times before Smith fell to the ground and then punched him at least five more times and stomped on him, according to Pettitt.

Etute also told authorities that Smith did not fight back.

Etute also admitted that he heard a bubbly and gurgling noise after the incident, and said he ran out of the home without calling the police, according to Pettitt.

The medical examiner ruled Smith’s cause of death as blunt force to the head.

The judge granted Etute, who has no prior criminal record, a $75,000 secured bond because he met all the requirements to prove he’s neither a flight risk nor a danger to society.

While the Commonwealth initially appealed the judge’s ruling, Etute was granted bond later on Wednesday.

He’s now required to live with his parents in Virginia Beach and will not be able to leave the state.


About the Authors:

Lindsey joined the WSLS 10 team as a reporter in February 2019 and is thrilled to call Roanoke her new home!

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a digital content producer in July 2018.