A Virginia Tech linebacker accused of beating a Tinder game to death after the date turned out to be a 40-year-old man has been charged with second degree murder.
Isimemen Etute, 18, was indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury with the murder of restaurant manager Jerry Paul Smith on Tuesday, the Roanoke Times reported.
Etute, a freshman at Virginia Tech, was arrested on June 2 for the May 31 murder.
Prosecutors allege Etute met Smith on Tinder in April when the older man allegedly impersonated a woman named “Angie” and the two had oral sex.
Etute told police that Angie hid her face during sex and paid her $ 50 at the end.
Isimemen Etute (pictured) is charged with second degree murder after repeatedly hitting and stepping on Jerry Paul Smith after discovering Smith was male, prosecutors said
Etute, 18, left, was charged with the murder of Jerry Paul Smith, 40, right, after discovering that Smith was not a woman named “Angie,” as he had thought
Etute was seen in Montgomery County Court Tuesday, as he faced an indictment before a grand jury
Etute is consulting his lawyer, James Turk, who previously said Smith should not have pretended to be a woman, alleging he lured Etute into an apartment under false pretenses.
Etute buried his head in his hands during an indictment for murder
Etute was a first-year linebacker on the Virginia Tech football team
Etute also said he stopped messaging Angie after the interaction because he wasn’t sure Angie was who she claimed to be, but a month later Angie had it again. contacted him and invited him, telling him to bring friends.
He then returned to Smith’s apartment in downtown Blacksburg to find out whether Smith was male or female, police said.
He used his phone’s flashlight in the dark apartment to get a better view of Smith before realizing the victim’s gender and punching and stomping the man to death, prosecutors said.
Smith was found dead in his apartment the next day, police said, and a medical examiner’s office ruled that Smith died from blunt trauma to the head.
Etute – who has been released on a guaranteed bond of $ 75,000, must live with his family in Virginia Beach and be monitored electronically – is due to return to court on Nov. 18.
Prosecutors say Etute punched Smith in the face five times before he fell to the ground. He then allegedly hit the victim at least five more times and stomped on his head.
As the football player was leaving, prosecutors said, Etute heard “bubbling and gurgling” coming from Smith but did not call the police.
An autopsy report revealed that all of Smith’s facial bones were broken and his teeth were missing, the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported.
Etute was suspended from school and his football team during the investigation.
Surveillance footage from Smith’s apartment captured Etute visiting him on May 31 – the night Smith was brutally beaten to death
Etute reportedly told police after his arrest in June that Smith did not retaliate, according to WSLS.com.
His lawyer, James Turk, previously told DailyMail.com that Smith had several social media accounts in which he was posing as a woman named “Angie”.
Etute was released on $ 75,000 bail Wednesday and will remain under house arrest and electronic surveillance
It appeared that Smith lived like a man in his day-to-day life, including at work, and his family called him by masculine pronouns.
“No one deserves to die,” Turk told reporters after his client’s arrest, “but I don’t mind saying, don’t pretend you’re something you’re not.
“Don’t target or attract anyone under this perception,” he said. ‘It’s just wrong.’
In an obituary, Smith’s family remembered the restaurant manager – who was nicknamed “Gigi” by his nephews – as a “lifelong polite young man.”
After his death, a spokesperson for the family, who spoke on condition of anonymity fearing online harassment, told the Roanoke Times that they were struggling to come to terms with what had happened.
“We are so lost in the face of everything that is going on,” the spokesperson said, noting: “At the end of the day, no matter what he did or didn’t do, no one deserves what. he got.
“Whatever happened, no one has the right to react this way. “
The spokesperson described Smith as a proud and openly gay man, saying: “Everyone knew he was a gay man. He didn’t like women. He was very proud of who he was.
And although Etute didn’t know Smith was a man, the spokesperson said, “He didn’t deserve this.
“He weighed maybe 112 soaked pounds, he wasn’t a threat to anyone, he wasn’t a threat to a fly.” He was not a dangerous person, ”the spokesperson said, adding:“ No one has the right to take someone’s life. Whatever happened, it shouldn’t have happened.
Smith’s body was found in his Main Street apartment in Blacksburg