Virginia Tech LB Isi Etute Charged With Murder Only Months After Enrolling in College

Only weeks after finishing his first college football spring camp, Virginia Tech Hokies linebacker Isi Etute is in serious legal trouble.

Local police arrested Etute, a true freshman, and charged him with second-degree murder on Wednesday, June 2. He is being held without bond following the death of a 40-year-old man.

Virginia police charged Isi Etute with second-degree murder

Isi Etute enrolled at Virginia Tech and joined the Hokies football team in January 2021. Less than five months later, he’s been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

According to the Blacksburg (Virginia) Police Department, police responded to a welfare check involving Jerry Smith, a 40-year-old man. Police discovered his body and ruled the death a homicide.

Blacksburg police said they identified Etute, 18, as a person of interest because he and Smith were “acquaintances.” The department soon charged him.

According to The Roanoke Times, Etute appeared at a virtual court hearing on Thursday, June 3. He received a court-appointed attorney and will next appear in court on Thursday, September 23. He remains at the Montgomery County Jail without bond.

The Hokies program suspended Etute indefinitely. As of publication, the school had removed his online bio from its website.

“Blacksburg Police continues to lead this ongoing investigation, and the university will assist law enforcement agencies working the case in any way it can,” Virginia Tech said in a statement. “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.” 

Etute enrolled at Virginia Tech earlier this year

Before his arrest, Etute arrived at Virginia Tech as an in-state prospect from Virginia Beach.

247 Sports ranked him as the 39th overall prospect in the state of Virginia for the 2021 signing class. Both 247 Sports and ESPN listed him as a 3-star prospect. According to 247 Sports, he also held scholarship offers from Appalachian State, Virginia, West Virginia, and other notable FBS programs.

Etute practiced with the Hokies this spring and likely would have competed for snaps as a reserve linebacker this coming season.

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