Medical examiner rules cause of death in Blacksburg homicide as ‘blunt force injuries to the head’

Virginia

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The medical examiner has determined a cause of death for the Blacksburg man that a Virginia Tech football player is accused of killing earlier this week.

The medical examiner in Roanoke says the cause of death for 40-year-old Jerry Paul Smith was blunt force injuries to the head, ruling his death as a homicide.

The Blacksburg Police Department says officers were called to 119 North Main Street for a welfare check at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 1.

However, when police arrived, they found a man — identified as Smith — dead at the scene.

Isimemen Etute, 18, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with Smith’s homicide investigation.

According to police, the investigation revealed that Smith and Etute were “acquaintances.”

Court paperwork shows the incident happened on Monday, May 31.

That same day, Etute was given a speeding ticket in Radford, charged with going 20 mph over the speed limit and failure to stop/yield entering the highway.

In a statement on Wednesday, June 2, Virginia Tech announced that Etute, a freshman studying human development, had been placed on immediate interim suspension, which also affects his standing with the Hokies football team.

During Etute’s virtual appearance at the Montgomery County District Court on Thursday, June 3, the judge appointed Etute an attorney and scheduled his next court appearance for Sept. 23.

WFXR News interviewed Smith last year outside a restaurant with which he was associated, the Centro Taco Bar in Blacksburg. Police announced on Thursday that the restaurant is the subject of a separate investigation.

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