Isimemen Etute, a freshman linebacker for the Hokies’ football team, was arrested on a charge of second-degree murder on June 2. Etute, 18, is accused of killing Blacksburg resident Jerry Smith, 40. According to a press release from Blacksburg Police Department’s Lt. Josh Teubert, Blacksburg police responded to a request for a welfare check at 119 N. Main St. around 10:30 p.m. on June 1 and discovered Smith deceased. “Through the investigation Mr. Isimemen Etute was identified as a person of interest and later charged with 2nd Degree Murder,” Teubert said. Blacksburg police said Etute and Smith were familiar with each other before the alleged murder, referring to them as “acquaintances” in the press release.
Etute, a freshman majoring in human development, graduated from Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach and enrolled at Virginia Tech in January 2021, according to 247 Sports. An article by Alicia Petska and Michael Niziolek for The Roanoke Times states that Etute participated in spring camp training.
Virginia Tech said in a statement that Etute has been suspended from the football team “effective immediately.”
Etute is currently being held without bond at Montgomery County Jail and was arraigned via video at 10:30 a.m. June 3. An article by Michael Niziolek for The Roanoke Times states that Naomi Huntington was appointed as Etute’s attorney; Etute is expected to next appear in court on Sept. 23.