A jury in a Montgomery County court in Virginia, the United States, has acquitted Isimemen Etute, a Nigerian American, of fatally beating a man he initially thought was a woman to death.
According to the Raonoke Times, Etute, 19, was found not guilty of a charge of second-degree murder in the 2021 death of Jerry Smith, the victim.
During the preliminary hearing of the case, prosecutors had told the jury that Etute became enraged and fatally beat Smith to death after discovering he was a man, and not a woman.
Before the incident, both Etute and Smith had agreed to go on a date after meeting on Tinder, an online dating application.
While taking the stand earlier in the week, Etute, a former Virginia Tech football player, had testified that he felt violated and disappointed when he discovered that Smith, his Tinder match, was actually a man.
Etute’s disappointing discovery later led to a disagreement between the two.
The former football player further testified that he had to ‘defend himself’ when he thought he saw Smith reach for what looked like a gun under his bed.
Etute said he punched Smith five times and kicked him to gain time in order to escape from the apartment.
The police would however report that they only found a knife under Smith’s mattress during investigations.
The jury acquitted Etute after deeming all the evidences presented by the prosecutors as ‘circumstantial’.
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