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Virginia Tech football player who murdered a man he thought was a female during sexual encounter pleads not guilty

A Virginia Tech spokesperson says Etute is the only football player who has been suspended from the team.
A Virginia Tech spokesperson says Etute has been suspended from the team, but he plead not guilty to second degree murder.

Isimemen Etute plead not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of a transgender male from Blacksburg last year.

The former Virginia Tech football player reportedly killed Jerry Smith on June 1st, 2021. The autopsy showed that Smith died from blunt force trauma to the head.

According to investigators, Etute said he and Smith had a sexual encounter in Smith’s apartment after meeting on Tinder on April 10, 2021, after which Smith gave Etute $50. However, Smith was reportedly posing as a woman named “Angie” both on the dating app and during their encounter.

Etute was caught on camera with several others going to Mr. Smith’s place. He will have a hard time proving that he is truly not guilty in this case.

Etute’s biggest problem could be the gay panic defense law that was passed in 2021. This law prohibits the use of a person’s perceived or actual gender identity or sexual orientation as a defense in court for the assault or murder of an LGBTQ person.

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