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Montgomery County Jail, Facebook

Former Virginia Tech linebacker Isimemen Etute is back playing football after a jury cleared him of murdering a Tinder date.

The jury in May acquitted the then-19-year-old athlete of killing Jerry Smith, a 40-year-old gay man who identified as a 21-year-old woman to trap unsuspecting college students on Tinder.

Etute is set to play football this fall at Iowa Western Community College, ESPN reports.

Etute's attorney James Turk confirmed the news to ESPN. Turk said it was difficult finding a Division 1 school willing to take a chance on Etute following his arrest and murder trial.

During his emotional closing argument, Turk suggested that Etute was the victim.

"I think he's earned the right to go back to school and further his academic and sports career," Turk told reporters outside the courthouse. "I think the school that ends up taking him is going to get probably a lot wiser and a much smarter and an exceptional athlete."

Etute was 18 when he connected with Smith on Tinder. Smith presented himself as an emergency room physician named Angie Renee.

After Smith performed oral sex on Etute, the two men engaged in anal intercourse. Etute said Smith kept the lights off in his apartment and hid his face.

Smith paid the college athlete $50 for the encounter. Etute stopped returning Smith's texts when he heard rumors around town that Smith was a man.

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.

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.

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

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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.
 




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Montgomery County Jail

Virginia Tech linebacker has been indicted by a grand jury in the mistaken-gender murder of a male Tinder date.

Isimemen Etute, 18, was indicted by a grand jury on second-degree murder charges in the beating death of Jerry Smith, 40, who Etute mistook for a woman.

Etute swiped right on Smith's profile, under the mistaken belief that Smith was a woman named "Angie."

Smith allegedly used a woman's picture in his Tinder profile and asked men to wear a blindfold when they arrived at his apartment.

Etute reportedly said he visited Smith's darkened apartment in April to engage in oral sex.

He returned to the apartment on May 31 to confirm if Smith was male or female, according to the Roanoke Times.

Etute groped Smith's genitals in the dark apartment before beating him to death, a detective testified.

Etute told police he punched Smith repeatedly in the face and continued punching and stomping the victim after he fell to the floor. He said he heard Smith "bubbling and gurgling" and left the apartment without calling the police or medics.

Smith's body was found in his Blacksburg, Va. apartment on June 1. The coroner's report noted Smith lost multiple teeth, had multiple skull fractures and every bone in his face was broken.

Rumors had spread on campus that Smith was a man who tricked young males into believing he was female. Smith was allegedly fired from Blacksburg area bars for sexually harassing young men.

Multiple Virginia Tech players -- most of them wearing Virginia Tech gear -- were in attendance to support Etute at his packed bond hearing in June.

He reportedly spent the summer under house arrest with his family in Virginia Beach.

Etute was suspended from Virginia Tech and the football team following his arrest in June.

Another hearing is scheduled for November 18.

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Montgomery County Jail

A man who was allegedly beaten to death by Virginia Tech football player Isimemen Etute had identified himself as a woman on the Tinder dating app.

Etute, 18, was charged with second-degree murder in the fatal beating of Jerry Smith, 40.

Police say Etute and Smith had matched on the dating site Tinder, but Smith identified as a woman named "Angie" on the app.

Smith allegedly used a woman's picture in his profile and asked men to wear a blindfold when they arrived at his apartment.

Etute reportedly went to Smith's apartment on April 10, where "Angie" performed oral sex on him.

Etute's attorney, Jimmy Turk, said his client didn't realize Smith was a man until he returned to the apartment for a second sexual encounter on May 31.

Etute told police he punched Smith repeatedly in the face and continued punching and stomping the victim after he fell to the floor. He said he heard Smith "bubbling and gurgling" and left the apartment without calling the police or medics.

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Facebook

Smith's body was found in his Blacksburg, Va. apartment on June 1. A coroner determined his death was caused by blunt force trauma to the head and face. The coroner's report noted Smith lost multiple teeth, had multiple skull fractures and every bone in his face was fractured.

Etute, who was suspended from Virginia Tech and the football team, was released on $75,000 bond at his bond hearing on Wednesday. He is allowed to stay with family in Virginia Beach on house arrest and electronic monitoring until his trial in September.

Multiple Virginia Tech players -- most of them wearing Virginia Tech gear -- were in attendance to support Etute at the packed bond hearing.

There are reports that Smith was fired from Blacksburg area bars for sexually harassing young men.

Turk implied that he might use a gay panic defense, which is banned in Virginia and 10 other states. The gay panic ban becomes effective in Virginia on July 1.

"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."

Turk struggled to fight back tears when he asked for bond for his client.

"I've tried more than 100 murder cases in my lifetime, and normally I don't even ask for bail," Turk said with his voice quivering. "If there's ever been a time for someone to be considered for bail, this is it."

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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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Facebook

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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Former NBA star Nick Young, aka "Swaggy P," commented on the fatal shooting of a male-to-female transgender by a Chicago teenager.

Orlando Perez, 18, confessed to shooting 37-year-old Selena Reyes-Hernandez in the head and back on May 31. Perez told police he panicked when he learned Reyes-Hernandez was a biological male.

"Once the offender realized that this victim was actually transgender, the offender became very upset," said Brendan Deenihan, chief of detectives for Chicago police, at a press conference Wednesday. "He left the residence, became more upset, and that's when he came back to the residence."

Perez was charged with murder in the first-degree. He stated he became "distraught" upon learning Reyes-Hernandez was an MtF trans. He confessed to shooting Reyes-Hernandez, then returning to the residence to shoot Reyes-Hernandez in the head and back.

"He thought that was enough so he ran out. But he kept seeing her face, so he went back there to do it again," Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said during Perez's bond hearing on Wednesday.

Perez was ordered held without bail at his bond hearing.

Brian To/WENN.com

Among the celebrities commenting on the tragic shooting was Young, who last played for the Denver Nuggets in 2018.

The 35-year-old took to social media to warn other MtF transgenders to be honest with their male hookups.

In a message screencapped by Hollywood Unlocked on Instagram, Young said:

"You never wanna see someone lose [their] life but You gotta let people know B4 hand... (TO ME) this situation always gonna lead to a fight or worse with any straight man you can't just say after y'all hook up and by the way I'm a MAN and pull out some nuts out.......... a man will go crazy."

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Mother of trans nurse calls plea deal a 'slap in the face'
 
Dwanya Hickerson

Dwanya Hickerson said he "lost it" when he stabbed a transexual nurse 190 times at a Pascagoula hotel on July 23, 2016.

Hickerson, 23, was arrested 2 days later and charged with capital murder in the brutal death of 25-year-old Dee Whigham, a nurse at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg.

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Moonlight

Who said a movie with a majority black cast can't win awards unless the main character plays a maid or a crack addict?

Moonlight is about a black boy named Chiron who grows up in a rough part of Miami and finally accepts his homosexuality after longing for a boyhood pal.

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Stars attend Chris Brown concert

Prince Williams/ATLpics.net

The city was buzzing with excitement this weekend. Singer Chris Brown was set to perform live during an Atlanta gay pride event.

But then the news broke that Brown was a no-show for his scheduled performance at the Georgia Freight Depot nightclub.

Lesbian party promoter Melissa Scott told the GA Voice she was "baffled" that the guest of honor was a no-show.

"I think it's unfortunate for mainstream artists to take people's money with the complete prior knowledge of knowing what the event is and being very clear about what the event is about," said Scott. "I'm completely baffled. You know it's gay pride. You knew you agreed when you sent the contract in and took the money.”

Scott, founder of Traxx Girls, said she exchanged a flurry of text messages with Brown's people who kept demanding assurances that there were no gay men in the nightclub.

"I was being told to take [Brown's] image down because he looks a little feminine in that image -- an image that he took," Scott told the GA Voice.

She added: "I had to send text messages of pictures of my crowd to say, 'there's nothing but girls in here man.'"

As 4,000 lesbians stood waiting patiently for Brown to hit the stage, he refused to enter the building because a "handful of gay men" were inside the club.

As the criticism mounted on social media, Brown tweeted a pathetic attempt at damage control.

"I honestly wasn't booked for the show," he tweeted. "Hopefully in the future we can do it right. Much love LGBT."

He added: "I have nothing but love and respect for the LGBT COMMUNITY."

Chris Brown

Scott was able to salvage what was left of the night. Luckily for Traxx Girls a slew of celebrities were in town.

"We called Fetty Wap who is the hottest artist in the country right now and he was 5 minutes away (from the venue) and asked him if he could come," says Scott. "He said 'hell yeah!' I said it's a gay party. It's tons of people here. He said he didn't care and was on his way."

gay panic defense

An Atlanta teenager was convicted of murder after a Fulton County jury rejected his gay panic defense.

19-year-old Marquavyian Gude (inset) told the court he expected to meet a girl for random sex, but Devontavius McClain, also 19, showed up instead.

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