Newly-unsealed documents reveal former Virginia Tech football player is the subject of a federal hate crime investigation

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Search warrants show that the FBI is investigating to see if a previous Virginia Tech football player charged with murder also fully commited a dislike criminal offense.

The warrants, which were being unsealed Tuesday, have been filed on June 28, 2021. They’re connected to the Could 31, 2021 death of a 40-year-previous Blacksburg person, Jerry Smith.

Isimemen Etute, who prior to getting charged with Smith’s murder, was a member of the Virginia Tech football group, has been indicted on a demand of second-degree murder.

Police explained that through their investigation and in discussions with Etute, they discovered that Etute and Smith matched on Tinder on April 10 and that Smith had been posing as a woman named “Angie.”

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The two had a sexual come upon prior to Smith’s dying.

On Could 31, Etute went to Smith’s apartment and found that he was a guy and not a woman, in accordance to what he informed the Blacksburg Police Office.

He explained to law enforcement that he used his cell phone’s flashlight to ascertain Smith’s gender.

Following that, he told authorities how he strike Smith various occasions in various techniques.

The FBI submitted the warrants to lookup the mobile phones and any corresponding knowledge from three males with whom Etute was in get in touch with subsequent Smith’s dying.

10 Information has made the decision to not identify any of them due to the fact none of them are billed with any crimes.

The warrant goes into particulars about the interviews Etute, as nicely just about every of the other three gentlemen, had with the Blacksburg Law enforcement Office.

Two of the men walked up to Smith’s apartment with Etute, even so, both remained exterior, in accordance to their interviews with law enforcement.

When Etute left the condominium, equally adult men with him told law enforcement that he was upset and 1 of Etute’s hands was bleeding.

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One particular of the adult men also told authorities that Etute was crying when he remaining the condominium.

Prior to the warrants currently being unsealed, the United States submitted a few motions to seal the situation, for 90 days each individual.

In the very first movement, on June 29, the textual content under was the reasoning supplied for why this warrant desired to be sealed.

In help of this movement, and owning viewed as the assessment set forth in United States v. Applebaum, 2013 WL 286230 (4th Cir. Jan. 25, 2013), the Government states that this matter remains pre-indictment and is portion of ongoing investigation of a possible civil legal rights violation arising from a despise criminal offense and related violence resulting in the demise of Jerry Paul Smith. Brokers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation are actively investigating these fees and anticipate to job interview supplemental witnesses. If alerted to the factual info contained inside of the look for warrant application and its similar paperwork, witnesses of this investigation could ruin or tamper with other digital and other proof and/or notify confederates or modify their statements or testimony.

Motion to Seal, dated June 29, 2021

The a few motions to seal have been signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert S. Ballou on July 20, Oct. 4 and Dec. 27, 2021.

The rationale for unsealing these files Tuesday is because the final sealing purchase had expired, in accordance to federal courtroom documents.

No costs have been filed in opposition to Etutue in link with this investigation.

10 News has protected this case extensively. Down below are past articles relevant to this situation:

Copyright 2022 by WSLS 10 – All legal rights reserved.

Stacee R. Grigg

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