A judge has dismissed the murder charges against former pro wrestler Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, deeming him mentally incompetent to stand trial in the 1983 death of his girlfriend.
The ex-wrestler was charged in September 2015 in the death of 23-year-old Nancy Argentino, whose body was found in their Whitehall Township hotel room in 1983. Authorities reopened the investigation after The Morning Call newspaper raised questions about the case in 2013. Prosecutors alleged she was beaten, while Snuka has maintained that she died from a fall.
The defense argued Snuka, 73, couldn't stand trial because he suffers from dementia, partly due to the head trauma he suffered over a long career in the ring. The prosecution argued Snuka's brain showed normal signs of aging and suggested he was faking symptoms.
"Hearing the news today that it's finally over," Snuka's attorney Robert Kirwan told NBC10 Tuesday. "Case is closed. It's done. Charges are dismissed. That sense of relief is overwhelming."
U.S. & World
Stories that affect your life across the U.S. and around the world.
Kirwan said his client was in hospice care in Florida and had six months to live.
"I'd like for him to leave this world with a clean record and everybody knowing he's an innocent person," Kirwan said.
NBC10 reached out to the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office for comment on the judge's dismissal.
"We are considering our options and will decide at the appropriate time what action we'll take," a spokeswoman wrote.
Argentino's sisters Louise Argentino and Lorraine Salome also reacted to the decision and said they were disappointed but not surprised by the ruling.
"It's really been a travesty of justice from the beginning," said Louise Argentino. "Thirty years ago my sister had bruises all over her. He had told all the authorities that he pushed her and they had a fight. And they just let him walk away."