Ex-Virginia Tech Football Player Acquitted After Killing Tinder Date That Turned Out to Be a Man
Former Virginia Tech football player Isimemen Etute has been acquitted after killing a Tinder date that turned out to be a man.
Etute, 19, had been charged with second degree murder for the death of Jerry Smith, 40 — but maintained that he was acting in self defense.
The jury in Christiansburg, Virginia, deliberated for three hours before returning the not-guilty verdict.
According to the defense, Etute had engaged in oral sex with Smith — who had used the name “Angie” on Tinder and claimed to be a 21-year-old woman. A month later, he went back and saw them to figure out if he had been misled about his gender.
The prosecution claimed that Etute had groped Smith before beating him to death.
“Etute took the stand in his own defense earlier this week and said he felt ‘violated’ that his date lied about his gender. The defendant said Smith had insisted they meet in the dark and had reached for what he thought was a gun,” the New York Post reports. “Etute testified he punched Smith five times and kicked him to escape the apartment.”
Etute’s lawyer James Turk said that Smith was a “deceitful and dishonest man” who “defrauded young men for his own sexual gratification.”
“I’m not in shock because it’s the right verdict, but always wondering and worrying about whether you convinced 12 people,” Turk said, according to a report from the Roanoke Times. “That’s always nerve-wracking. I’m just thankful for this jury. It is the right decision and right now I’m still just overwhelmed.”
“It should be an eye-opener not just for college athletes, but any young people using these social media platforms,” Turk said. “They can be extremely useful, but they can be extremely dangerous.”
The police did not find a gun, but did find a knife under Smith’s mattress.
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