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Ex-College Athlete Charged With Murder Pleads Not Liable, Judge To Rule On ‘Gay Panic Defense’ Motion

Several motions were filed in front of the murder trial for any former college athlete charged with killing a guy who allegedly posed like a lady throughout a sexual encounter with him.

Isimemen Etute,  21, joined a plea of not liable at Thursday’s arraignment for that 2021 murder of Jerry Cruz, 40, based on NBC Roanoke affiliate WSLS. Prosecutors repeat the suspended Virginia Tech football linebacker beat Cruz together with his bare hands – breaking every bone in Smith’s face – after understanding the victim, who he’d met on Tinder, was really men and never a lady as he’d initially thought.

In front of the murder trial, slated to start on Wednesday, defense lawyer Jimmy Turk filed three motions for his client, who’s billed with second-degree murder.

The very first of those seeks to cover the identity of the witness, who had been 19 years of age during the time of Smith’s beating dying, for fears of retaliation. Another motion requested that jurors be barred from viewing photos of Cruz after his dying, including photographs in the crime scene and also the postmortem examination.

The ultimate motion addressed the lately implemented ban from the “Gay/Trans Panic Defense,” which once guaranteed more lenient penalties for defendants claiming to panic while studying regarding their victim’s gender or sexual identity. Based on NBC News, the balance was passed in April, making Virginia the twelfth condition (the very first within the southern U . s . States) to effectuate the ban.

The defense is quarrelling the ban should not be an issue within the trial because the crimes happened prior to the bill was signed, based on The Roanoke Occasions.

On April 10, 2021, prosecutors say Etute taken care of immediately a Tinder dating application profile and decided to meet a lady named “Angie” for dental sex, CBS Roanoke WDBJ reported.

In those days, Etute allegedly hadn’t recognized the lady in the dating application was really Jerry Cruz until he was asked by his buddies.

Etude allegedly came back to Smith’s Blacksburg apartment on May 31, 2021, to find out whether Cruz was biologically man or woman, leading to Etute groping Smith’s genital area, learning he was biologically male.

Cruz was discovered dead at his home the very next day.

A postmortem examination demonstrated he died of blunt pressure trauma towards the mind. The Roanoke Occasions reported Cruz didn’t have his teeth, and each bone within the victim’s face have been damaged.

Etute allegedly accepted to government bodies he punched Cruz five occasions and “stomped” around the victim before hearing “bubbling and gurgling” originating from Cruz. Etute then left the man’s apartment and unsuccessful to inform the government bodies.

A couple of Etute’s Virginia Tech teammates anxiously waited outdoors.

Attorneys continue to be awaiting the judge to rule on the previous motion that will settle if or even the defense is going to be permitted to make use of Smith’s history at trial, which allegedly includes Cruz pretending to be a lady online for sex, based on the Occasions.

“Nobody should die, however i don’t mind saying, don’t pretend you’re something that you’re not,” Turk told the Richmond Occasions-Dispatch in March. “Don’t target or lure anybody under that perception. It’s just wrong.”

The argument more than a victim’s sexual history would be a figuring out factor once the ban around the “Gay/Trans Panic Defense” was authorized by the Virginia Senate captured, based on local outlets.

“We’re watching the victim being placed on trial,” stated Democratic Condition Senator Jennifer Boysko. “This jogs my memory greatly from the rape shield act, in which a lady was requested what her sexual history was included in the defense argument. That’s illegal to complete [now]. We no more allow anyone to turn the table on the rape victim.”

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Mike Fleenor has yet to rule around the motions in front of Etute’s murder trial.

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Written by Stephanie Green

I am dreamer and book reader.

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