Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka has passed away at age 73, according to the Snuka family:
The news comes following reports that Snuka had just six months to live in December:
Snuka was charged with murder and involuntary manslaughter over the death of his former girlfriend, Nancy Argentino, just last year after nearly three decades of it standing as a cold case. At the time of her death, an autopsy showed Argentino died of traumatic brain injuries and she had more than three dozen cuts and bruises. Snuka was let off the hook after noting he found her unresponsive in his hotel room.
Prosecutors reopened the case after a 2013 newspaper report raised questions about the case.
Charges were eventually dropped as he was deemed unfit to stand trial.
Dr. John O’Brien testified that there is “little evidence” suggesting Snuka has a significant history of concussion or other brain trauma which would leave him mentally unfit for standing trial over the alleged murder of his girlfriend in 1983, per 6abc.
Later, under questioning, Snuka, who is 73, said he was in his 80s, appeared confused, and even called the judge, “dear,” and “hon.” During the hearing on his mental competency, Snuka was confused on the most basic of questions, not knowing the name of the President, what year it was or even who his lawyer was.
Snuka’s defense cited head trauma he received in the ring to the deterioration of his brain, per the report. O’Brien noted little evidence in Snuka’s medical records suggesting such, and his reported impairment only began showing up after the investigation into Argentino’s death was reopened.
Judge Kelly L. Banach previously denied a joint request from prosecutors and the defense to drop all charges, per PWInsider.
Snuka went into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1993, and last wrestled at Wrestlemania 25 on April 5, 2009.
In the ring, Snuka was one of the most exciting wrestlers of his era. He changed wrestling for good with one of the most iconic images ever, with his death-defying leap off the top of a steel cage in Madison Square Garden:
Our thoughts are with his family at this time.