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Now former Virginia Tech football player acquitted in beating death of Tinder date he did not know was a man


Update: The since-released Virginia Tech football player indicted on a second-degree murder charge related to mistaken gender identity of a Tinder date has been acquitted.

19-year-old Isimemen Etute was found not guilty after his attorneys successfully argued he acted in self-defense.

After matching on Tinder with what he thought was a woman named “Angie Renee,” the two met and Angie performed oral sex on Etute.

However, the next month, Etute returned to “Angie’s” apartment to verify her gender. Etute reportedly groped “Angie,” and then realizing it was a man pretending to be a woman, allegedly beat him to death.

The victim was actually 40-year-old Jerry Smith, who pretended to be a woman on the dating app, and had a knife under the mattress of the bed where the incident took place.

A Christiansburg, Virginia, jury deliberated for three hours before handing down the verdict, according to The Roanoke Times.


Jami Frankenberry

The Virginian-Pilot

A suspended Virginia Tech football player from Virginia Beach will be tried on a second-degree murder charge in Montgomery County Circuit Court.

Isimemen David “Isi” Etute, accused of killing a man he mistook for a woman when they met for sex, was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday, the Roanoke Times reported.

A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 18 so attorneys can work out a timeline for the case, according to the newspaper.

Etute, 18, a former star at Cox High School, was preparing for his first season at Virginia Tech when he was arrested and charged in the death of Jerry Paul Smith.

Etute was matched with someone named “Angie” on Tinder and met for a sexual encounter April 10, according to previous police statements. Etute returned to Smith’s Blacksburg apartment May 31 to determine if Smith was male or female, according to attorneys and witnesses at earlier hearings.

A detective testified at Etute’s preliminary hearing that the football player told investigators that on May 31, he groped Smith to try to determine his gender, used his phone’s flashlight to get a better look at Smith in the dark apartment, then began punching him.

Etute was released on a $75,000 secured bond about a week after his arrest and since then has been under house arrest and electronic monitoring.

Etute has been suspended from the Virginia Tech football team per athletic department guidelines.

Jami Frankenberry, 757-418-1446, jami.frankenberry@pilotonline.com

©2021 The Virginian-Pilot. Visit pilotonline.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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