Photo may have been deleted

Montgomery County Jail, Facebook

Ex-Virginia Tech linebacker Isimemen Etute has been acquitted of murdering a Tinder date that he believed was a woman.

Etute, 19, was found not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2021 beating death of Jerry Smith, 40, of Blacksburg, Virginia, on Friday.

The jury deliberated for approximately three hours before returning a not guilty verdict on Friday.

The jury found the defense's "gay panic" argument believable that Smith deceived the young athlete into believing he was a woman named "Angie" before the two met for oral sex.

After engaging in oral sex, the two men had anal intercourse. Etute said Smith kept the lights off in his apartment and hid his face during their encounter.

The athlete said Smith paid him $50 for the date. But Etute stopped texting Smith after he heard rumors around town that he might be a biological male.

Smith texted Etute about a month later, asking him to bring friends.

Etute said he went back to Smith's apartment on May 31, 2021, to find out whether he was a male or a female, police said.

The linebacker groped Smith and used his phone's flashlight in the darkened apartment to get a better look at Smith's face.

After confirming his suspicion that Smith was a male, Etute punched him five times and kicked him when he thought Smith was reaching for a gun, according to his defense attorney.

Police said Smith had a knife hidden under his mattress, but the prosecutor said he would have been unable to reach it.

As Etute left Smith's apartment, he heard "bubbling and gurgling" sounds coming from Smith but did not call police.

After the jury announced its verdict, Etute cried and hugged his defense attorney. Smith's family quickly left the courtroom.

Etute's family, who prayed before the verdict was announced, also left the courtroom.

The gay panic defense has been used successfully in other murder cases. But it is banned in some jurisdictions.
 




Photo may have been deleted

YouTube

A Kenosha, Wisconsin jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on 5 counts in his murder trial on Friday. The verdicts were announced after the jury deliberated for four days.

Rittenhouse collapsed on the floor in tears after the verdicts were read. The emotional teenager faced life in prison if found guilty of killing two Antifa protester and wounding another during unrest in Kenosha last summer.

Judge Bruce Schroder thanked the jury, telling them they were "wonderful".

"I couldn't have asked for a better jury to work with," he said.

18-year-old Rittenhouse was released to walk out of the courtroom a free man.
 

Photo may have been deleted

YouTube

The brother of Olympic gymnast Simone Biles was nearly attacked in an Ohio courtroom after a judge acquitted him of triple murder on Wednesday.

Tevin Biles-Thomas was accused of a New Year's Eve 2018 shooting at a Airbnb house that killed three people, Johnson, 19, Toshaun Banks, 21, and Devaughn Gibson, 23.

The courtroom erupted after Judge Joan Synenberg issued her ruling at the Huntington Convention Center in Cleveland.

A woman rushed toward Biles-Thomas and yelled, "I'm going to kill you."

"You have to be f----ng kidding me... "He killed my baby! You know he killed my baby!"

Three sheriff’s deputies tackled the woman before she could reach the defendant.

"We get it, she's angry. She was led to believe Mr. Biles was guilty, when he wasn't, and she reacted like a mother. We don't fault her for that," Joseph Patituce, the defense attorney representing Biles-Thomas, told Fox 8 Cleveland.
 

MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate in his historic second impeachment trial on Saturday, Feb. 13.

57 Senators -- including 7 Republicans -- voted to impeach the former president on incitement of insurrection charges stemming from the Capitol riots on January 6. 43 Republican senators voted to acquit.

67 votes are required for a conviction in the Senate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was shaken and outraged during a press conference following the vote to acquit. She lashed out at the GOP and called Republicans "cowards" for voting to acquit Trump.

"What we saw today was a cowardly group of Republicans," Speaker Pelosi said.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pelosi becomes the first House Speaker in U.S. history to launch two failed impeachment trials.

Many Americans voiced their frustration that the Democrats wasted taxpayer dollars and time on another impeachment trial when they should be working to help unemployed Americans.

On Saturday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- who voted to acquit -- said Trump "spent weeks" provoking riots in the Capitol, and "didn't do his job" to stop the riots. He said Trump's actions "were a disgraceful dereliction of duty."

Win McNamee/Getty Images

"There is no question, none that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. No question about it,” said McConnell, pictured with Pelosi on December 8, 2016.

McConnell hinted that Trump could still be tried for unknown offenses in the criminal justice system.

But Trump's legal team countered that the same senators sitting in judgment of Trump spent months encouraging rioters last year.

Some senators who voted to convict Trump for a second time donated cash to a fund to bond rioters out of jail to continue their mayhem and destruction. Dozens of people lost their lives during the riots that caused billions of dollars in property damage last summer.

Earlier in the day, before closing arguments were set to begin, the Democrats changed the rules and decided to call witnesses to testify.

But Senate Democrats folded quickly when Trump's legal team presented a list of 300 defense witnesses. Pelosi's name was first on the list followed by D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser.

Trump's lawyer, Michael Van Der Veen, planned to ask Pelosi and Bowser if they had advanced knowledge of a "planned attack" in Washington, DC on Jan. 6.

Van Der Veen said it's "very clear that... House Democrats hate Donald Trump."

The win was bittersweet for Van Der Veen, who told the press, "We demolished their case, and they were like a dying animal that we had trapped in the corner."

Van Der Veen said the senators failed to prove the merits of their case.

But he choked back tears as he revealed the win came at a cost. He said his entire family received death threats, his home was attacked, and his business and law firm were under siege.

Trump released a statement following his second acquittal on Saturday. He thanked his "team of dedicated lawyers and others for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth" and he thanked "all of the United States Senators and Members of Congress who stood proudly for the Constitution..."

He added:

"It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree."

He concluded his statement by saying the movement to Make America Great Again is just beginning and that he "has so much to share with you" in the coming months.