Isimemen Etute, a former Virginia Tech linebacker who was charged and later acquitted for the fatal beating of a Blacksburg man in April 2021, posted a tweet saying that his notification of transfer had been submitted by the school and he had officially entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.
Under NCAA rules, he will be able to enroll at a new school this fall and begin playing immediately. Etute, who was a freshman at Virginia Tech last year, never played a snap for the Hokies, according to 247sports.
Etute was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on June 1, 2021, after police found 40-year-old Jerry Smith dead in his Blacksburg apartment. On June 4, it was determined by the medical examiner, who ruled Smith’s death as a homicide, that he died from blunt force trauma to the head.
It was determined during the investigation that Etute and Smith, who had been posing as a woman online, matched on Tinder and met at Smith’s apartment for a sexual encounter in April. After becoming suspicious of Smith, Etute returned to the apartment with two teammates to confront him on May 31.
Etute went into Smith’s apartment alone and, according to court documents, came out crying with a bleeding hand. He later admitted to punching Smith five times and kicking him in the face once.
According to The Roanoke Times, medical examiner Dr. Amy Tharp testified that Smith had bleeding and swelling inside his brain, that most of the bones in his face were broken and multiple teeth had been knocked out. Forensic Detective Mike Czernicki testified that shoe impressions on Smith’s face were consistent with “at least two” blows.
Etute was indicted for second-degree murder in October 2021, and his trial began on May 25, 2022. The final day of the trial was May 27, when jurors deliberated for around three hours before returning to the courtroom with a verdict of not guilty.