Etute is on suspension from the school and the Hokies football team during the investigation.
Authorities say Etute fell for an apparent “catfishing” deception on the dating app Tinder that led to the killing.
Etute said he visited Smith’s apartment in April thinking he was meeting a woman for sex after he was matched with someone named “Angie,” but he later discovered the person was a man, prosecutors said during a Wednesday hearing, citing police statements.
Etute told police he punched and stomped Smith and heard gurgling as he left the man’s apartment, but didn’t call police.
Smith was found dead two days later with every bone in his face broken.
The medical examiner’s office had previously revealed that Smith died from blunt force trauma to the head.
ArLuther Lee of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.