Virginia Tech football player accused of murdering Tinder match

Isimemen Etute  is charged with second-degree murder.
Isimemen Etute is charged with second-degree murder.(Blacksburg PD)
Published: Jun. 10, 2021 at 10:37 AM CDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (Gray News) - A Virginia Tech football player is accused of killing a man he matched with on Tinder who had identified himself as a woman.

WDBJ is reporting Isimemen Etute is charged with second-degree murder for the death of Jerry Smith, 40, of Blacksburg, Virginia, who was found dead in his apartment June 1 from blunt force trauma to the head.

According to attorney Jimmy Turk, Etute and Smith matched on the dating app Tinder because Smith’s profile indicated he was a woman named Angie.

The attorney said the two first met in person April 10, but Etute didn’t realize Smith was a man until they met again May 31.

During Etute’s first court appearance, Turk said the 18-year-old Virginia Tech freshman punched Smith five times in the head, making him fall, at which point Etute stepped on his head.

An exam indicated every bone in Smith’s face was broken and teeth were missing, according to WDBJ.

Etute was released on a $75,000 bond and put under house arrest with electronic monitoring gear. A judge ordered Etute to stay with his parents in Virginia and is only allowed to leave home for court appearances. He must have no contact with Smith’s family.

Etute is suspended from Virginia Tech and its football team while the investigation is ongoing.

“The Virginia Tech and Town of Blacksburg communities are united in our shared concern for the welfare of all,” the university wrote in a statement. “Together, we denounce all acts of violence and stand together in support of one another.”

Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. WDBJ contributed to this report.