Police: Virginia Tech LB Isi Etute Said He Punched, Stomped Victim of Alleged Murder

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVJune 9, 2021

BLACKSBURG, VA  SEPTEMBER 07: Virginia Tech helmet during the game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Old Dominion Monarchs on September 07, 2019, at Lane Stadium on Worsham Field in Blacksburg, VA. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In court on Wednesday, prosecutors said Virginia Tech linebacker Isi Etute told police he had punched and stomped on a person, who was later found dead, because he found out the person, who he thought was a woman, was actually a man.

Mike Niziolek of The Roanoke Times reported on the bail hearing for Etute, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Jerry Paul Smith in Blacksburg, Virginia.

According to prosecutors, Etute told police he had matched with a person he believed to be a woman on Tinder and met with them for a sexual encounter on April 10. They set up another meeting for May 31, but Etute said he discovered the person was a man and allegedly attacked him.

According to prosecutors, Etute said he did not call police as he left the scene despite hearing "bubbling and gurgling." Smith was found dead two days later, and the autopsy showed all the bones in his face were broken, he had missing teeth and skull fractures. The medical examiner said Smith died of blunt force trauma.

Virginia Tech has suspended Etute from the school and football team.

Etute, who is due back in court in September after he was granted bail, was a member of the Hokies' 2021 recruiting class.