Former Virginia Tech football player Isimemen Etute was indicted on second-degree murder charges last year after he was accused of beating a male Tinder date to death after the man portrayed himself as a woman.
19-year-old Isimemen Etute was found not guilty in the 2021 death of 40-year-old Jerry Smith after his lawyer argued he acted in self-defense.
Smith catfished the young football player pretending to be a woman, and Etute killed him during an altercation at Smith’s apartment. Etute’s defense successfully argued that the killing was in self-defense because Smith reached for his bed where a knife was.
When the verdict was read to the courtroom, Etute’s father, David, collapsed in his seat while his wife Nichelle sobbed. Etute lifted his defense attorney Jimmy Turk off the ground in a bear hug with both of them crying. Smith’s family quickly left the room.
College Football Player Charged With Murder. Here’s What We Know https://t.co/dn6Ib8aseS
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 3, 2021
Following his arrest on a second-degree murder charge in 2021, Etute was removed from Virginia Tech’s football team, but it sounds like he still wants to play the sport he loves.
His attorney James Turk told the media:
“I think he’s earned the right to go back to school and further his academic and sports career. I think the school that ends up taking him is going to get probably a lot wiser and a much smarter and an exceptional athlete.”
— Dave Walls (@DaveWallsWSET) May 27, 2022
Daily Caller commented further:
We have a very solid justice system in America, and clearly, the jury felt that Etute had acted in self-defense during the physical altercation that left Smith dead.
People like to think situations are cut and dry, but that’s rarely the case. Real-life is complicated, but it seems like the jury was thoroughly convinced Etute hadn’t done anything that rose to the level of second-degree murder.
Watch it here: WTVR CBS6/Youtube
Here’s also some free advice I’ll offer to everyone out there. Don’t go to strangers’ apartments and don’t put yourself in situations where you don’t know all the facts. I know hindsight is 20/20, but the best way to avoid trouble is to go nowhere it might be lingering.
Watch it here: WSLS10/Youtube
Hopefully, Etute is able to move on with his life and put this horrific situation behind him.