Former WWE hall of famer “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka is currently on trial for the 1983 death of Nancy Argentino, but he won’t be showing up to court any time soon. According to Snuka’s wife, the wrestling superstar is currently in hospice after a diagnosis with terminal stomach cancer and has about six months left to live. Snuka’s doctor and lawyer explained to the court that Snuka is unfit to stand trial due to his current health condition, and based on their report, he likely won’t ever be able to show up as the Argentino family seeks justice for the death of Jimmy’s mistress.
Jimmy Snuka recently Skype’d with the court for hearing regarding his murder trial according to TMZ. It was during that Skype session that Snuka informed the court that he wouldn’t be able to make it to further appearances for his trial because he was suffering from terminal stomach cancer.
— 24Wrestling.com (@24Wrestling) December 2, 2016
Jimmy’s doctor was also on hand to help explain to a Lehigh County judge on Friday that the wrestling legend was currently staying in hospice in Florida. Due to a recent bout of infections that had Snuka suffering, he is considered unfit to stand trial and wouldn’t be making any more appearances in person.
According to Jimmy Snuka’s wife Carole, he is currently being given morphine and other painkilling drugs to keep him comfortable while in hospice. Snuka’s lawyer, Robert Kirwan, told the court that his client’s most recent infection landed him in the hospital on Monday and that Snuka had experienced psychosis and hallucinations as a result of his condition.
— AllWrestlingNews (@allwrestlingnew) December 2, 2016
Back in June the court ruled Jimmy Snuka unfit to stand trial because of his other medical conditions. According to Lehigh Valley Live, Snuka was suffering from dementia and other medical issues as a result of several concussions that he suffered during his professional wrestling career. While the judge ultimately agreed that Snuka was not competent to stand trial, prosecutors cried foul, claiming that the dementia plea was just a ruse to get Jimmy off the hook.
The Friday court hearing was called to again determine whether or not Jimmy Snuka was fit to stand trial. Snuka was previously ruled unfit. He has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and third-degree murder in the 1983 death of Nancy Argentino.
After meeting through friends and hitting it off, Nancy became Jimmy Snuka’s minder and would make sure that he made it to his East Coast appearances, according to What Culture. Their attraction was strong but Jimmy was married to someone else, so Nancy ended up being his mistress. Nancy and Jimmy had a volatile relationship with police getting called out to investigate their domestic disturbances, but she never pressed charges against the wrestler.
— ProWrestlingSheet (@WrestlingSheet) December 2, 2016
Nancy Argentino died in May 1983 after Jimmy Snuka called for help, claiming he found her unconscious in a hotel bed after he returned from a wrestling match in Allentown, Pennsylvania. That’s where the story gets weird.
When emergency responders arrived, Argentino was still alive but not responding. She was reportedly laying naked in bed with just a sheet over her. Nancy’s breathing was not normal and her heart was racing. She was transported to the hospital by ambulance but died just an hour later.
Later, an autopsy showed that Nancy Argentino had a skull fracture and 39 other abrasions. The extent of Nancy’s injuries looked suspicious but Jimmy Snuka told police that his mistress took a fall earlier that day and hit her head on the pavement when she was trying to use the bathroom on the side of the road. Snuka’s story reportedly changed and he later told police that she bumped her head while they were fooling around in the bedroom and said that he slapped her when she wouldn’t wake up before he called for help.
— theScore (@theScore) December 2, 2016
Even though the explanation of Nancy Argentino’s death was suspicious and it was ruled a homicide, the case remained open for decades while Jimmy Snuka remained free. The Argentino family took Snuka to civil court in 1985 and won a $500,000 settlement that he has never paid to them, maintaining that he is broke and that he didn’t kill his former mistress.
Pressure from the Argentino family as well as others interested in the case finally led to Jimmy Snuka’s arrest and the possibility of prosecution some 30 years later, but by that time Snuka was already fighting cancer, wheelchair-bound and dependent on a feeding tube.
Initially, his lawyers argued that Snuka’s dementia made him unable to stand trial, and that shut down prosecutors for months until Friday when they reconvened to try and get the trial against him going again. This time they hit another roadblock while trying to get Jimmy on the stand with news that his stomach cancer is terminal and that the former wrestler only has six months left to live. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the death of Nancy Argentino, Jimmy Snuka could be sentenced to 40 years in prison, a sentence that would have made much more sense if it had been applied more than three decades ago rather than waiting until the end of his life in order to fight for justice.
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