VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Isimemen Etute, a Virginia Tech football player and former Cox High School student, appeared in court virtually on Thursday, a day after he was charged with second-degree murder by the Blacksburg Police Department.
Etute requested a court-appointed attorney during his appearance before a judge.
According to Blacksburg Police, officers responded to the Hokie Mart convenience store at 10:30 Tuesday night for a welfare check. When officers arrived, they found 40-year-old Jerry Smith dead at the scene.
Police said through their investigation, they identified Etute as a person of interest. Police believe Etute and Smith knew each other but didn’t give any details about their relationship.
People on social media say Etute is innocent and they want the police to release more information in the investigation.
On Wednesday, Virginia Tech sent out a statement, confirming Etute is a freshman studying human development. The university placed him on immediate interim suspension and he is suspended from the football team.
The FBI Richmond Office confirmed with 13News Now they are assisting in the investigation.
"Yes, FBI Richmond is assisting the Blacksburg Police Department in this investigation - providing whatever investigative resources are necessary. We will have no further comment," said FBI Public Affairs Specialist Dee Rybiski.
Police have not said how the victim was killed or the actions that led to his death.