Former Virginia Tech football player pleads not guilty ahead of murder trial

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR) β€” On Thursday afternoon, Isimemen Etute, a former member of the Virginia Tech football team, pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the death of a Blacksburg man last year.

Police arrested Etute after finding the body of 40-year-old Jerry Paul Smith on June 1, 2021 during a welfare check.

An autopsy revealed Smith died from blunt force injuries to the head.

Virginia Tech previously reported that Etute was placed on interim suspension as of June 2, 2021, which affected his standing with the Hokies football team.