BLACKSBURG, Va. (WRIC/WFXR) — A former Virginia Tech linebacker who was recently found not guilty of second-degree murder will likely be playing for a different team this fall.
Isimemen Etute, who was charged and later acquitted in connection with the deadly beating of a Blacksburg man in 2021, posted a tweet saying that his notification of transfer had been submitted by the school and he had officially entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.
Under NCAA rules, he will be able to enroll at a new school this fall and begin playing immediately. Etute, who was a freshman at Virginia Tech last year, never played a snap for the Hokies, according to 247sports.
Etute was arrested and charged with second-degree murder after police found 40-year-old Jerry Smith dead in his Blacksburg apartment on June 1, 2021. A few days later, the medical examiner, who ruled Smith’s death as a homicide, determined that he died from blunt force trauma to the head.
It was determined during the investigation that Etute and Smith, who had been posing as a woman named “Angie Renee” online, matched on Tinder and met at Smith’s apartment for a sexual encounter on April 10, 2021. After becoming suspicious of “Angie,” Etute returned to the apartment with two teammates to confront “her” on May 31, 2021.
Etute went into Smith’s apartment alone and, according to court documents, came out crying with a bleeding hand. He later admitted to punching Smith five times and kicking him in the face once.
Etute was indicted for second-degree murder in October 2021, and his trial began several months later, on May 25. The final day of the trial was May 27, when jurors deliberated for around three hours before returning to the courtroom with a verdict of not guilty, deciding not to charge him with second-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter.