Pretending to be something you are not can have serious consequences.
When folks do it on social media and dating apps, trying to tempt their quarry with false representations of who they are, it is known as “catfishing”.
It appears that a catfishing scam proved fatal for one Virginia man after he attracted the wrong kind of playmate.
Jerry Smith, 40, was beaten to death after he lured a young man with an offer of oral sex on Tinder using the name “Angie”.
Smith was matched on the dating app with Isimemen David Etute, 18, who happens to be a linebacker at Virginia Tech and a freshman at the university.
Etute told police that he went to Smith’s Blacksburg apartment in April after matching with “Angie”, the Roanoke Times reported.
Etute then returned to the apartment on May 31 for another meet-up, at which point he discovered the person he had matched up with this time was male, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jason Morgan, citing details the now-suspended linebacker told cops.
Etute told investigators he punched Smith five times in the face and “stomped” on him, but didn’t call police despite hearing “bubbling and gurgling” from the victim as he left the apartment. Cops found the badly beaten man’s body one day later, the newspaper reported.
The linebacker’s parents and sister attended a hearing on Wednesday, as well as a number of Virginia Tech football players, most of whom were wearing team gear, according to the report.
An autopsy revealed Smith, a restaurant worker, died from blunt force trauma to the head. All of the bones in his face were broken and his teeth were also missing, the Roanoke Times reported.
Etute, who is charged with second-degree murder, was arrested on June 2. His attorney, Jimmy Turk, told a judge the case was “more than someone just showing up to an apartment and punching someone.”
Turk later addressed reporters outside of court.
“Nobody deserves to die, but I don’t mind saying, don’t pretend you are something that you are not,” Turk told reporters outside the courtroom. “Don’t target or lure anyone under that perception. That’s just wrong.”