A Lehigh County judge has dropped homicide charges against Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka after viewing the former WWE wrestler’s medical records.
Snuka was previously ruled incompetent to stand trial in the 1983 death of his mistress, Nancy Argentino, at the former George Washington Motor Lodge in Whitehall Township.
Here is a timeline of events related to the case:
•May 11, 1983: An ambulance brings Nancy Argentino to Lehigh Valley Hospital with a serious head injury. She is pronounced dead at 1:50 a.m. Her hospital bill lists “altercation” as the reason for her injuries. Pro wrestler Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka tells at least five people, including police and hospital personnel, that he pushed Argentino and she hit her head. He later says she fell and hit her head while stopping for a bathroom break along the highway.
•June 1, 1983: Snuka is interviewed by Lehigh County authorities with World Wrestling Federation mogul Vince McMahon present. The investigation runs cold for 30 years.
•1985: The Argentino family wins a $500,000 wrongful death lawsuit against Snuka but never receives any money.
•June 9, 2013: A Morning Call investigation exposes a never-before-seen autopsy report that labeled the Argentino death a homicide.
•June 28, 2013: Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin says his chief deputy is reviewing the Argentino file.
•Jan. 28, 2014: Martin announces the Argentino case will go to a grand jury.
•August 2015: Snuka’s wife announces he has stomach cancer.
•Sept. 1, 2015: After a grand jury recommendation, Martin charges Snuka with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.
• Jan. 15, 2016: Hearing is held in Lehigh County Court to determine if Snuka is competent to stand trial.
•June 1, 2016: After four days of hearings, Judge Kelly L. Banach finds that Snuka is not mentally fit to assist in his own defense.
•June 21, 2016: Prosecutors ask Banach to force Snuka to undergo mental health treatment.
•Dec. 2, 2016: Snuka’s lawyer says he’s in a Florida hospice and has six months to live.
•Jan. 3, 2017: Banach rules Snuka incompetent, dismisses homicide charges.
Source: Morning Call news archives