Isimemen Etute, a former VT linebacker, was arrested in June of 2021 and was subsequently charged with the second-degree murder of a 40-year-old man named Jerry Paul Smith, who had presented himself as a woman on the Tinder dating app named “Angie Renee.”
In their conversation, Smith presented himself as a biological woman, the National File reported. The situation soon escalated after Etute realized that Smith was a man, resulting in an argument, then eventually in violence.
Smith allegedly reached for some type of weapon in a dark bedroom, which was later revealed to be a knife, prompting Etute to hit Smith several times before fleeing.
Police later tracked down Etute after investigating, revealed to him that Smith was dead, and charged Etute with second-degree murder. One year later, Etute was finally afforded a trial. After deliberating for several hours, the jury found Etute not guilty of murder.
During the trial, Etute’s lawyer, James Turk, emphasized what the media largely ignored: that Smith was attempting to sexually assault Etute using physical violence to do so.
“There’s one person that could have prevented all of this,” Turk said.
“There’s one person that initiated it all, there’s one person that controlled every single bit of it, and one person that exposed young people to this sexual predator nature, that is just wrong.”
Etute will continue his college football career elsewhere after the acquittal. Virginia Tech had initially suspended him indefinitely after he was charged for murder.
New Beginnings…🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/nr5O4QlubQ
— isietute (@isietute) June 3, 2022
According to Etute, he has a chance for a “new beginning.”