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Montgomery County Jail

A Virginia Tech linebacker who allegedly killed a man he thought was a woman will reportedly use the Gay Panic Defense (GPD).

Isimemen Etute, 18, was suspended from the team after he was charged with second-degree murder in the June 2 beating death of Blacksburg, Virginia, resident Jerry Smith, 40.

Prosecutors say Etute allegedly told investigators he went to Smith's apartment on April 10 for oral sex after he was matched with a woman named "Angie" on the Tinder dating app.

He said he returned to Smith's apartment on May 31 for a second sexual encounter after he was matched with another woman on the app, according to Yahoo Sports. However, he became enraged when he discovered the "woman" was actually Smith.

Etute told police he punched Smith five times in the face and stomped the victim multiple times as he lay on the floor. Etute said he heard Smith "bubbling and gurgling" and left the apartment without calling the police or medics.

Smith's body was found in his apartment 2 days later, Yahoo Sports reports.

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According to the county medical examiner, Smith died from blunt force trauma to the head and face. Prosecutors said that Smith lost multiple teeth, had multiple skull fractures and every bone in his face was fractured.

Smith's family called police to conduct a welfare check at his apartment after their phone calls went unanswered.

A family spokesperson described Smith as a proud, openly gay man who worked in the restaurant industry and wouldn't harm a fly.

Etute, who was ranked 29th of Virginia Tech's 2021 recruiting class, appeared at a bond hearing on Wednesday. He was released on $75,000 bail and is allowed to stay with family in Virginia Beach, on house arrest and electronic monitoring, until his trial in September.

Etute's defense attorney, Jimmy Turk, implied that he would use a gay panic defense -- even though the gay panic defense is banned in Virginia.

"I'm not saying what happened was acceptable, but this was more than someone just showing up to an apartment and punching someone," Turk told the judge.

"Nobody deserves to die, but I don't mind saying, don't pretend you are something that you are not. Don't target or lure anyone under that perception. That's just wrong."

Multiple Virginia Tech players were in attendance at the packed bond hearing, according to Yahoo Sports.

The gay panic defense (not to be confused with homosexual panic) is used by defense attorneys to reduce the charge for a client who is accused of assault or murder of a member of the LGBT+ community.

Gay panic occurs when the perpetrator temporarily loses his sanity and becomes extremely upset at a perceived threat to his manhood after the sexual orientation or gender of the victim is revealed.

The National LGBT Bar Association defines the gay panic defense as "a legal strategy which asks a jury to find that a victim's sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant's violent reaction, including murder."

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Seattle Seahawks player Chad Wheeler was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence after beating his girlfriend to a bloody pulp.

Wheeler was arrested Saturday night and charged with felony domestic violence, according to the Seattle Times.

He was released from King County Jail on Tuesday morning on $400,000 bond.

King County police responded to a call late Saturday night from a frantic woman who said she was locked in a bathroom following a "physical fight with her boyfriend."

Police responded to the address and found the woman suffering from a dislocated arm, and other injuries.

She also told police that Wheeler strangled her until she lost consciousness.

A friend of the offensive lineman's girlfriend shared a photo of her horrific injuries in a post online on Tuesday. She said Wheeler continued to eat dinner while his girlfriend lay motionless on the floor. She has since deleted the post.

Wheeler was not cooperative with police upon their arrival, according to a police spokesman.

The Seahawks released a statement Monday night, saying the team is "Aware of the situation and still gathering information."

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University of Utah star freshman running back Ty Jordan is dead after accidentally discharging his gun and shooting himself in the hip. He was 19.

Jordan, who grew up in the Dallas area, died while celebrating the Christmas holiday in Denton, Texas, CBS affiliate KUTV in Salt Lake City reports.

Authorities tell TMZ, the victim died early Saturday. Police responded to a shooting on the 1100 block of Avenue A in Denton, and found Jordan suffering from a gunshot wound to the hip.

He was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Authorities believe the shooting was accidental.

Police said there was no danger to the public. A day earlier, Jordan was named Pac-12's Offensive Freshman Player of the Year, after rushing for 597 yards and scoring 6 touchdowns.

"Words cannot express the devastation and heartache that our team is feeling right now upon learning of the tragic death of our teammate and brother, Ty Jordan," Utah Head Football Coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement.

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Texas State University

A Texas State University football player was shot dead during a botched drug deal at an apartment complex in San Marcos, Texas on Tuesday.

Khambrail Winters, 20, and two friends, Enalisa Blackman and Michael Ifeanacho, both 20, went to the Lodge Apartments at 1975 Aquerena Springs Drive to purchase 2 ounces of marijuana Tuesday night.

Blackman met with two male individuals at the apartment complex to buy weed. But the males attempted to rob Winters and he was shot in the chest.

San Marcos police responded to reports of gunshots at the apartments. When police arrived around 9 p.m., they found Winters unresponsive with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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City of San Marcos

Police arrested Blackman (left) and Ifeanacho (right) and charged them with murder. In Texas, individuals can be charged with capital murder if they are involved in the commission of a crime that results in death.

Two male suspects are still at large. Police say the apartment complex's video surveillance system was inoperable.
 

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