Virginia Tech linebacker accused of beating man to death over catfishing

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A freshman linebacker for Virginia Tech is accused of fatally beating a man for catfishing him and leaving him to die despite hearing his alleged victim “bubbling and gurgling,” reports said.

The Roanoke Times reported that David Etute was charged with second-degree murder. He was granted bond on Wednesday. 

The paper reported that Etute allegedly admitted to police that he punched Jerry Paul Smith, 40, five times in the face and “stomped” him after learning that he was not a woman.

Etute said he visited Smith’s apartment in April after he was matched with someone named “Angie” on Tinder, but when he returned on May 31, he discovered his match was a man, prosecutors said during a hearing Wednesday, citing police statements.

The paper reported that Smith’s body was located the following day in an apartment.

Jimmy Turk, the attorney for Etute, told the court that the case was “more than someone just showing up to an apartment and punching someone.”

The New York Post reported that Turk told reporters outside the court, “Nobody deserves to die, but I don’t mind saying, don’t pretend you are something that you are not. Don’t target or lure anyone under that perception. That’s just wrong.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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