Virginia Tech football player held for second-degree murder in Blacksburg killing

Isimemen Etute Mugshot
Isimemen Etute Mugshot(Blacksburg Police)
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 4:28 PM EDT
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - A Virginia Tech football player has been charged in connection to a Blacksburg killing.

Isimemen Etute is charged with second-degree murder and is being held without bond in the Montgomery County Jail. He also faces driving charges related to speeding and failing to stop or yield.

Police were called the night of June 1 for a welfare check at 119 N. Main Street and found a man dead; investigators ruled the death a homicide. The man has been identified as Jerry Smith, 40 of Blacksburg. No cause of death has been released.

Smith was let go recently from the management team at the Black Hen and Bar Blue in Blacksburg.

Police believe the suspect and victim knew each other, but there is no word what their relationship was or what a motive may have been.

Etute is a freshman at Virginia Tech, according to Virginia Tech Police, and has been suspended from the university and the football team there.

Etute is scheduled for a hearing Thursday in Montgomery County General District Court.

Statement from Virginia Tech Vice President Frank Shushok, Jr.

Dear Hokie students and all members of our community,

It is with deep regret that I share with you news concerning the arrest today of a fellow student who has been charged in the death of a Blacksburg community member.

I wanted you to hear this news directly from me.

Our hearts are broken when we experience violence in our community. Even if you do not know those involved personally, hearing this news is hard, painful, and confusing.

More information will be available as the investigation unfolds.

In the meantime, please take care of yourselves.

As always, Virginia Tech has many resources to support you including the Dean of Students Office and the Cook Counseling Center.

If you are struggling or need assistance, please do not delay in reaching out.

Please know I stand with you in collective shock and grief.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Blacksburg Police Department at (540) 443-1400, or remain anonymous by calling the Blacksburg Police Tip Line at (540) 961-1819 or by emailing

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