Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka’s exploits in the ring ultimately will be overshadowed by an ugly incident outside it.
A Lehigh County (Penn.) grand jury on Tuesday charged the famed WWE wrestler with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the 1983 death of his then-girlfriend, Nancy Argentino.
On May 10, 1983, authorities found the 23-year-old Argentino unconscious at a Whitehall Township motel where Snuka and two other wrestlers were at the time. She was taken to a hospital and died the following day.
Snuka, who wasn’t charged at the time, claimed Argentino fell and hit her head after he struck her. But an extensive 2013 investigation by the Allentown Morning Call — as well as information in Snuka’s own 2012 autobiography — suggested Argentino’s death could be ruled a homicide. An autopsy also determined Argentino died of traumatic brain injuries and had suffered 39 cuts and bruises that showed signs of “mate abuse.”
In July, the Lehigh County grand jury wrote a presentment recommending Snuka face homicide charges for assaulting Argentino and leaving her to die.
“His assaultive acts and his failure to act to obtain medical attention resulted in her death,” the presentment stated, via the Morning Call.
Snuka, a 72-year-old Fiji native, turned himself in to Lehigh County authorities Tuesday and is being held on $100,000 bail.
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