In a surprising turn regarding a case that’s been considered “cold” for 32 years, charges of third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter were brought today against WWE legend Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka in the death of his then-girlfriend in 1983. The charges were announced at a news conference Tuesday afternoon; Snuka was arrested at his home earlier in the day and arraigned at the Lehigh County Central Booking Center. Snuka was sent to the county jail with his bail set at $100,000.
Last year, new evidence was uncovered in the death of 23-year-old Nancy Argentino, who was Snuka’s girlfriend at the time of her death. A recently-uncovered, never-before-seen autopsy report that labeled the case as a homicide prompted Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin to re-open the case. Snuka had been performing with the WWF at the Allentown Fairgrounds on May 10, 1983; after the show, he returned to his motel room and, according to records, reported that he found Argentino struggling to breathe and secreting yellow fluid from her mouth and nose.
According to the report of the responding police officer, Snuka said that he shoved Argentino earlier that day, causing her to fall and strike her head; he later told police that he was misunderstood, and that Argentino has actually fallen and hit her head on her own.
Argentino was pronounced dead at Lehigh Valley Hospital the next day. The initial autopsy determined that she dies of traumatic brain injury; it also noted that her body bore the markings of over two dozen cuts and bruises from head to toe – according to the report, a possible sign of “mate abuse.” The report determined that the injuries were those consistent with being struck with a stationary object. The forensic pathologist also wrote that the case should be investigated as a homicide.
Snuka is listed as being the only “person of interest” in the case, but he was never charged – until now.
In 1985, Argentino’s family brought a wrongful death suit against Snuka; they won the case and a $500,000 settlement by default, but Snuka never paid, claiming he was broke; he also did not retain legal counsel during the case for the same reason.
In his 2012 autobiography, Snuka wrote the following:
Many terrible things have been written about me hurting Nancy and being responsible for her death, but they are not true. 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.
Contrary to what he wrote, Snuka was charged with assaulting Argentino less than four months before her death. He was combative with the responding police force, and eventually pled guilty to harassment in the case.
Snuka currently lives in Waterford Township, NJ. According to his wife, he was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer.
via: The Morning Call
Category: Nerd Culture