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Jimmy Snuka declared mentally unfit to stand trial for murder of Nancy Argentino

USA Today

The murder trial of WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka had been devoid of news for several months. Judge Kelly L. Banach of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania was in the process of weighing the claim by Snuka's legal team that the 73 year old was not mentally competent to assist in his own defense against charges he murdered his girlfriend Nancy Argentino in 1983.

Yesterday (June 1), she issued her decision on the motion, after four days of legal arguments and expert witness testimony. For now, at least, Snuka will not stand trial in the 33 year old case.

Banach denied the prosecution's request that Snuka be admitted to an in-patient psychiatric facility for 60 days, but a new hearing will be held in six months to re-evaluate Snuka's competency. His lawyers argued he won't be any better at that time, and the judge did allow the accused and his wife to move to Florida to live with their son. Snuka - father of current WWE performer Tamina - and his third wife, Carole, recently lost their Pennsylvania home due to financial problems, and will now reside in Florida, with the man known as "Superfly" free on bail.

The case had drawn particular interest from wrestling fans because of the possibility WWE Chairman Vince McMahon could be deposed or called to testify.

While that now seems unlikely to happen, it will remain on the company's radar due to this ruling. Carole Snuka testified that Jimmy's mental condition was related to years of brain trauma incurred during his career as a professional wrestler.

WWE has had some success getting concussion and traumatic brain injury charges and whole lawsuits against them dismissed, but others are ongoing.

Meanwhile, Argentino's family & friends, and the justice system which brought third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter charges against Snuka after an Allentown Morning Call investigation found an autopsy report indicating that the 23 year old's death should have been investigated as a homicide, will have to accept Snuka's current state of affairs as punishment for his alleged crimes.

"Unfortunately, justice suffers when it's delayed," said Judge Banach.

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