Ex-Virginia Tech Athlete Testifies At Trial For Murder Of Tinder Date He Found Out Was Male
A suspended Virginia Tech linebacker Hokie has taken a stand in his own defense during his trial for killing an individual he alleges pretended to be a woman during an intimate encounter.
Isimemen Etute, 19, is accused of the 2021 murder of Jerry Paul Smith, 40, whom Etute met by the name "Angie" listed in the Human Rights Campaign's compendium of transgender and nonconformist people killed in 2021. )
After a near-anonymous sexual encounter with Angie and her apartment on April 10, 2021 — during which Etute allegedly told detectives she kept her place dark, hid her face with a hoodie, and paid him $50 after performing oral sex on him had ABC affiliate WJLA - Etute reportedly said he was beginning to suspect Angie wasn't a woman.
When he returned to the blacked-out Blacksburg apartment on May 31, where Angie believed there would be another sexual encounter, Etute allegedly told detectives he used his cellphone flashlight to illuminate her face and discovered that she was a man. He then allegedly admitted to detectives that he punched Smith five times, possibly kicked his victim in the face, and ran away to sounds of "bubbling and gurgling," according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Smith was found dead the following day after his family filed for welfare. The coroner said he died from blunt force trauma, and the autopsy report said every bone in his face was broken, he was missing teeth and suffered multiple facial fractures, according to the paper.
Etute took the stand on the third day of his trial and, according to The Roanoke Times, gave a play-by-play of what he now says happened the night Smith died.
After being asked by friends in recent weeks if Angie was indeed a woman, Etute admitted he went back to the flat with two friends who were waiting outside in the hallway of Smith's apartment complex.
"If it were a man, I would just run away," Etute testified.
Etute said he accompanied Angie into the darkened bedroom and after a while asked for intercourse. The victim, he testified, partially undressed and got into a position on all fours on the bed, exposing the buttocks. Etute explained that he fondled his partner, including attempting to grab his genitals, and felt something on him. He then pulled back his partner's sweatshirt hood, turned on his phone's flashlight, and discovered that his partner had a man's facial hair.
"I felt hurt," Etute said, according to the Times. "I was just shocked and incredulous that someone had tricked me and lied to me."
Etute then claimed he got up, stood by the bed and asked Smith, "Why didn't you tell me?" Smith, he said, chuckled, grabbed Etute's crotch with one hand and down the edge of the bed with the other . Etute said he was concerned that Smith was attempting to grab a gun - despite never having seen a gun - leading him to punch Smith in an alleged act of self-defense.
Etute then voluntarily took to the courtroom floor for the jury and showed how he says he punched Smith, using a tissue box to represent the victim's head, according to the Times. The jury had to stand up from the jury to see the demonstration.
The story goes on
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