Nov. 2, 2015: Former professional wrestler Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, right, arrives for his formal accusation to the Lehigh County Courthouse in Allentown, Pa. In a decision filed Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, a Pennsylvania judge dismissed the murder case against Snuka in 1983, the death of his girlfriend Nancy Argentino, saying Snuka is not competent to stand trial on counts including third degree murder.
(Michael Kubel/The Morning Call via AP, File)
Former pro-wrestler Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka died on Sunday, 12 days after a Pennsylvania judge dismissed a murder case against him in the 1983 death of his girlfriend.
Our family @TaminaSnuka asked me to share the sad news that her father Jimmy Snuka has just died. Alofa atu I le aiga reports. #RIPSuperfly
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) January 15, 2017
Snuka’s death was announced on Twitter by fellow wrestling legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. WWE broadcaster Jim Ross tweeted that Snuka had been battling stomach cancer.
Our condolences to the family and friends of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, who died earlier today after losing his battle with stomach cancer. RIP????
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) January 15, 2017
Snuka’s daughter, Tamina — also a wrestler — posted a picture on Instagram Sunday of her hand of her father with the text “I LOVE YOU DADDY.”
A resident of the Fiji islands, Snuka was the best known on the wrestling circuit for the dives from the ropes and even the tops of steel cages. He was included in the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1996
In 2015, Snuka was charged with third degree murder in the death of Nancy Argentino, whose body was found in the more than three decades earlier, in their Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania. hotel room. Plaintiff alleged that she was beaten, while Snuka always maintained she died from a fall.
“Many terrible things written about me pain Nancy and is responsible for her death, but they are not true,” Snuka wrote in 2012 of his autobiography. “This is very exhausting for me and very hard on my family. To this day, I get nasty comments and threats. It hurts. I never hit Nancy or threatened her.”
Argentino’s family won a wrongful death lawsuit against Snuka in 1985, but the authorities only reopened the investigation after The Morning Call newspaper’s questions about the case in 2013.
Lehigh County Judge Kelly Banach ruled last summer that Snuka was not competent to stand trial after his lawyer argued the ex-athlete suffering from dementia, partly due to the head trauma incurred during a long career in the ring.
During a hearing last month to re-evaluate Snuka the mental fitness, his wife told the judge that the family had struggled to keep him from leaving home during periods of psychosis in which he thought he was late for a match.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.