Virginia Tech LB Esi Etute allegedly beat man to death
Helmets inside the Virginia Tech Hokies equipment trunk on the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia Tech linebacker Esi Etute was arrested earlier this month on murder charges, and we now have a better understanding of the motive in the case.

Etute, 18, has been charged with second-degree murder after he beat a 40-year-old man to death in Blacksburg. Etute says the victim, Jerry Smith, matched with him on the Tinder dating app by pretending to be a woman, according to The Associated Press.

Etute said he originally visited Smith’s apartment in April after he matched with someone on Tinder named “Angie.” When Etute returned to the apartment on May 31, he said he discovered that his Tinder match was a man. He admitted to police that he stomped and punched Smith and heard gurgling noises as he left the apartment. Etute did not call the police.

Smith died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Etute was released on $75,000 secured bond under house arrest and electronic monitoring on Wednesday. He has been suspended by Virginia Tech during the investigation.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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