Health

Jimmy Snuka Acquitted Of Murder Charge Prior To Death

| by Jonathan Constante

Wrestling icon Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka was acquitted for the 1983 murder of his ex-girlfriend, Nancy Argentino, after a judge ruled he was not competent to stand trial.

Snuka passed away from cancer on Jan. 15 at age 73, the Daily Mail reported. The wrestling legend was diagnosed in December and was initially given six months to live.

On Jan. 3, Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach ruled that Snuka was not competent to stand trial, and dismissed the murder case of Argentino, CBC news reported.

The judge's decision came after Snuka's attorney, Robert Kirwan II, told the court his client suffered from dementia, was hospitalized in Florida and only had six months to live.

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Kirwan said his condition may have partly been caused by injuries sustained after a long career in wrestling. Prosecutors countered by saying that Snuka's brain showed normal signs of aging, and that he might be feigning symptoms.

But during a hearing last month to re-evaluate Snuka's mental fitness, his wife told the judge that Snuka would often leave home during episodes of psychosis thinking he was late for a wrestling match.

Judge Banach also reviewed Snuka's medical records before the ruling.

The WWE Hall of Famer was charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in Argentino's death in 2015, but always maintained his innocence.

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In his 2012 autobiography, Snuka wrote about Argentino's death.

"Many terrible things have been written about me hurting Nancy and being responsible for her death, but they are not true," he wrote, according to CBC News. "This has been very hard on me and very hard on my family. To this day, I get nasty notes and threats. It hurts. I never hit Nancy or threatened her."

Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka first joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1982. He was known for his daredevil acrobatics, particularly his signature move, the "Superfly Splash."

The WWE issued a statement about the wrestling icon's death:

WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka has passed away.

Snuka is regarded by many as the pioneer of high-flying offense because of his Superfly Splash from the top turnbuckle. His dive off the top of the steel cage onto Don Muraco at Madison Square Garden as hundreds of flash bulbs went off will forever live as one of the most memorable moments in WWE history.

WWE extends its condolences to Snuka's family, friends and fans.

Sources: Daily Mail, CBC News, WWE / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons via WTAE

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