ALLENTOWN, Pennsylvania — A Pennsylvania judge has thrown out a 33-year-old murder case against former professional wrestler Jimmy ‘Superfly’ Snuka after determining that he is not competent to stand trial.
Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach had ruled last summer that the 73-year-old Snuka was not able to stand trial for the 1983 slaying of his then-girlfriend, but the charges had remained against him.
“The court is satisfied that the defendant remains incompetent and the court is satisfied that the defendant will not regain competency and that it would be unjust to resume the prosecution,” Banach said in dropping the charges, the Express-News reported.
Snuka’s lawyers have said the once-highly- acrobatic wrestling legend suffers from advanced dementia, has undergone treatment for cancer and been hospitalized since mid-December.
Snuka’s attorney Robert Kirwan said he had called the former wrestler and his family in Florida to let them know the judge’s decision, but wasn’t “quite sure he understood the news.”
“He understood it was a good day,” Kirwan said, adding Snuka’s family was happy the criminal case is over.
Snuka — whose heyday as a wrestler was in the early -to-mid 1980s — was charged with murder in September 2015 in the death of his 23-year-old-girlfriend Nancy Argentino in a Whitehall Township hotel room in 1983. While an autopsy showed she had died of injuries consistent with a brutal beating, Snuka was not charged at the time.
Her parents won a $500,000 damages verdict against him in 1985 — which he claimed he could not afford to pay — but didn’t face criminal charges until the case was revisited by prosecutors.
A spokeswoman for the Lehigh County District Attorney’s office,” said: “We’re considering our options and will decide at the appropriate time what actions we’ll take.”