Jimmy Snuka, aka “Superfly”, has has been charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend.
The former professional wrestler was charged after a grand jury investigation into the death of 23-year-old Nancy Argentino more than three decades ago.
Argentino, of Brooklyn, New York, was pronounced dead after authorities were called to a hotel room she and Snuka were sharing in Pennsylvania in May 1983.
Snuka, who is now 72 and battling stomach cancer, claimed in his 2012 autobiography that he was innocent in her death and said the reports ruined his life.
Snuka wrote, “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.”
Court records indicate that Snuka was arraigned Tuesday afternoon and sent to Lehigh County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Argentino was rushed to the hospital on May 10, 1983, after Snuka found her gasping for air and oozing yellow fluid from her mouth and nose in a motel room they were sharing near the Allentown Fairgrounds in Pennsylvania, where Snuka was performing at a World Wrestling Federation event. She died the next day of traumatic brain injuries.
At the time, Snuka, then 39, was married to another woman and was one of the biggest names in the WWF (now called the WWE).
The autopsy of Argentino’s body showed injuries that were consistent with a history of domestic abuse. She reportedly ‘suffered more than two dozen cuts and contusions on her head, ear, chin, arms, hands, back, buttocks, legs and feet’.
Snuka was arrested four months before that for dragging Argentino by her hair down the hallway of an upstate New York hotel. In that incident near Syracuse, it took sheriff’s deputies and two dogs to get the wrestler under control.
Here’s an interview Snuka gave about the incident:
Earlier this month, Snuka’s wife announced that he had been diagnosed with stomach cancer.
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