Virginia Tech football player Isimemen Etute arrested, charged with 2nd-degree murder

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BLACKSBURG, VA - OCTOBER 12: VT helmet prior to the game between the Rhode Island Rams and the Virginia Tech Hokies on October 12, 2019, at Lane Stadium on Worsham Field in Blacksburg, VA. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Virginia Tech freshman linebacker Isi Etute has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Virginia's Blacksburg Police Department announced on Wednesday that Virginia Tech freshman linebacker Isimemen Etute has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of a 40-year-old Blacksburg resident named Jerry Smith. 

Police officers were responding to a call for a welfare check at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday when they discovered Smith's body. Investigators called to the scene ruled the death a homicide and identified Etute as a person of interest. He was later charged with Smith's murder and is being held without bail at the Montgomery County Jail. 

Etute, 18, is a freshman from Virginia Beach who enrolled in January and participated in spring practices with the football team. He signed with the Hokies in their 2021 recruiting class. 

In a statement released on Wednesday, Virginia Tech announced that Etute has been placed on interim suspension by the university and immediately suspended from the football team. In a statement, the university said it will assist the police in the investigation, and is offering resources for students who have been affected.

Blacksburg Police continues to lead this ongoing investigation, and the university will assist law enforcement agencies working the case in any way it can.

The Virginia Tech and Town of Blacksburg communities are united in our shared concern for the welfare of all. Together, we denounce all acts of violence and stand together in support of one another. You don’t need to be close to this to be affected by this. If you need assistance or support, you are encouraged to reach out for help. 

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