Former Wrestler Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka Incompetent to Stand Trial in 1983 Murder of Girlfriend
A Pennsylvania judge has declared that former pro wrestler Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka is incompetent to stand trial in the 1983 death of his girlfriend.
Following a four-day hearing, Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach determined Snuka could not face murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Nancy Argentino.
Snuka, 73, told the judge that he was in in 80s and was unaware it was 2016. He also could not name the current president of the United States, and said he was unaware that he was arrested last year.
His defense team argued the wrestling icon was unfit to stand trial because of head trauma he sustained while in the ring.
A psychologist for the defense testified that Snuka suffered from dementia. However, a psychologist hired by the prosecution said Snuka’s brain showed normal signs of aging and that he may be faking it.
The judge did not believe Snuka was capable of faking the symptoms of dementia; though, he will be re-evaluated in six months.
Snuka was arrested in September 2015 after a 2013 investigation from The Morning Call raised questions about the case. In November, he pleaded not guilty.
At the time of Argentino’s death, Snuka was one of wrestling’s biggest names and the couple was in Pennsylvania for a wrestling event in which he was participating.
An autopsy determined Argentino died of traumatic brain injuries and suffered more than two dozen cuts and bruises — a possible sign of "mate abuse" — on her head, ear, chin, arms, hands, back, buttocks, legs and feet, according to The Morning Call.
Snuka was the only person of interest in the case but was never charged.
In early 2015, the district attorney announced that the investigation into her death would be reopened after The Morning Call report.
Two years after their daughter’s mysterious death, the Argentino family won a $500,000 wrongful death case against the wrestler by default, but Snuka never paid because he claimed he was broke and couldn't afford a legal defense.
In 2012, Snuka released an autobiography where he maintained his innocence and said that Argentino’s death ruined his life.
Snuka was once charged with assaulting her just four months prior to her death in a New York motel. He pleaded guilty to harassment in the case.
In 2015, Argentino’s sister, Lorraine Salome, told Inside Edition: “I felt that at least someone will be held accountable for this.”
Her husband, Richard, tearfully told Inside Edition: "Let's see whose life is extinguished now."