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Jury Renders Verdict For Ex-Virginia Tech Football Player Who Killed Tinder Date When Learning He Was a Man After ‘Wicked Sexual Ruse’

Maybe other creeps on dating apps will think twice?

Nineteen-year-old Isimemen Etute, a former Virginia Tech football player, was found not guilty by a jury of his peers for the killing of Jerry Smith, a 40-year-old gay man who tried to pass himself off as a 21-year-old doctor named Angie Renee on the popular Tinder app.

Etute and Smith met up on Tinder last year. It was reported that Smith performed oral sex on Etute, who was 18-years-old at the time, during their first hookup. But the former football player was uncertain about Smith’s gender and felt he was deceived by Smith, so he decided to meet up with Smith again and groped Smith to learn what his gender was. When Etute realized that Smith was in fact a man, he beat the holy hell out of him until it turned fatal.

According to Roanoke Times, Etute’s defense attorney, Jimmy Turk, said through a tearful closing argument, “Who is the real victim here?” He followed up with, “This was a wicked sexual ruse.”

Turk said that Smith was a “deceitful and dishonest man” and that he “defrauded young men for his own sexual gratification.”

Earlier this week, Etute took the stand in his own defense where he said he felt “violated” that his date lied about his gender. He said Smith insisted  that they meet in the dark and had reached for something that Etute thought was a gun.

Etute testified he was acting in self defense, said he punched Smith five times and kicked him to escape the apartment.

Police said that a knife was found under a mattress, but that no gun was found in Smith’s apartment.

“This is one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had as a lawyer,” Turk said after the verdict.

“I’m not in shock because it’s the right verdict, but always wondering and worrying about whether you convinced 12 people,” Turk said over why he was seen pacing the halls while the jury was deliberating. “That’s always nerve-wracking. I’m just thankful for this jury. It is the right decision and right now I’m still just overwhelmed.”

As the verdict was being read, Etute’s parents were visibly relieved, like the world dropped off their shoulders. David Etute “collapsed in his seat while his wife Nichelle sobbed.” Etute gave a big old bear hug to his lawyer while tears came down his own face.

Last year, after the incident, a Smith family spokesperson who requested to remain anonymous said they were “at a loss at everything that’s going on.”

“There are horrible stories out there,” the spokesperson said. “At the end of the day, no matter what he did or didn’t do, nobody deserves what he got. Whatever happened gives nobody the right to react that way. I’m sorry, it just doesn’t.”

Well, the jury disagreed. They believed that being a creep who lies about his gender on a dating app to hook up with and deceive young men, keeping them in the dark literally and figuratively, and then reaching for a weapon, does mean that the person you deceived can defend themself.

It’s not like gay people have to live in the closet anymore. There are plenty of young gay men in the world. To go around and deceive straight young men for your own sexual exploits is what’s not acceptable.

“He was so proud. Everybody knew he was a gay man. He did not like women. He was very proud of who he was,” the spokesperson said.

Then why did he go around deceiving young straight men to have sex with him? That’s just demented.

“Regardless of what he did, he did not deserve this,” the person said of Smith. “He was maybe 112 pounds soaking wet. He wasn’t a threat to nobody. He wasn’t a threat to a fly. He wasn’t a dangerous person. Nobody has a right to take someone’s life. Whatever happened should not have happened.”

Rich Welsh

Rich is a conservative, syndicated opinion writer and owner of He writes about politics, culture, liberty, and faith.

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