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Former Virginia Tech football player set to appear at motions hearing

Isimemen Etute, left, and defense attorney Jimmy Turk in Christiansburg Va. Thursday May 19...
Isimemen Etute, left, and defense attorney Jimmy Turk in Christiansburg Va. Thursday May 19 2022. (AP Photo / The Roanoke Times, Matt Gentry, Pool)(MATT GENTRY, The Roanoke Times | (AP Photo / The Roanoke Times, Matt Gentry, Pool))
Published: May. 22, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Former Virginia Tech football player Isimemen Etute will appear in a motions hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse Monday at 2 p.m. Etute pleaded not guilty to 2nd degree murder of Jerry Smith at his arraignment hearing last Thursday.

Etute’s defense is now hoping a judge will grant two motions ahead of Wednesday’s trial. The first is asking that one of the witnesses for the trial will be allowed to remain anonymous. The second motion relates to the “gay panic defense” statutes that were passed by the General Assembly and went into effect in July 2021.

The statutes state in part that a person’s actual or perceived sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation is not in and of itself, or together with an oral solicitation, a defense to any charge of capital murder, first degree murder, second degree murder or voluntary manslaughter.

The motion argues Jerry Smith died before the statutes went into effect, and they should not be allowed in this trial.

Etute’s jury trial will begin Wednesday at 9 a.m. and WDBJ7 will continue to provide updates throughout the entirety of the trial.

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