this could get real interesting to say the least.
If I were Vince McMahon I'd be watching this very carefully. I can't imagine Vince being charged with anything but I can see him being implicated and, if this goes to trial, having to testify in open court.
Wrestling legend Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka to be charged in girlfriend's 1983 death
Wrestling legend Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka is being charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter for the death of his girlfriend more than 32 years ago following an assault in Whitehall Township motel, Lehigh County authorities said.
The charges will be announced at a news conference this afternoon.
Snuka, 72, was arrested this morning at his New Jersey home and arraigned at 1:50 p.m. Tuesday from the Lehigh County Central Booking Center. He was sent to county jail under $100,000 bail.
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin re-opened the case last year, months after The Morning Call published an investigation raising questions about the death of Snuka's girlfriend Nancy Argentino in May 1983 and revealing a never-before-seen autopsy report that labeled the case a homicide.
The grand jury's term ended at the end of July.
At the time of Argentino's death, Snuka was one of the World Wrestling Federation's biggest names known for his high-flying finishing moves.
Reached Tuesday by phone, Argentino's sister Louise Argentino-Upham said it's a relief, especially since her mother turns 90 this year and will be able to see justice served.
"I think that it's been a long road," Argentino-Upham said. "They did the right thing in face of all the evidence."
Snuka had been at a WWF taping at the Allentown Fairgrounds on May 10, 1983 and returned to his Whitehall Township motel room to find Argentino, 23, of Brooklyn, gasping for air and oozing yellow fluid from her mouth and nose, records show.
Argentino was pronounced dead at Lehigh Valley Hospital the next day. An autopsy determined she died of traumatic brain injuries and she suffered more than two dozen cuts and bruises -- a possible sign of "mate abuse" -- on her head, ear, chin, arms, hands, back, buttocks, legs and feet.
The autopsy also determined her injuries were consistent with being hit with a stationary object. In an autopsy report, forensic pathologist Isidore Mihalakis wrote that the case should be investigated as a homicide until proven otherwise.
Snuka originally told at least five people, including the responding police officer, he shoved Argentino earlier that day, causing her to fall and hit her head, according to police interviews obtained by The Morning Call. He later told police those five people misunderstood him, and said Argentino slipped and hit her head when they stopped along the highway to urinate.
Snuka was the only person of interest in the case but was never charged.
The original Whitehall police investigation went cold June 1, 1983, after a follow-up interview with Snuka that was ordered by Lehigh Valley authorities and attended by WWF mogul Vince McMahon.
In an unprecedented move, Martin announced in January 2014 that a grand jury will investigate Argentino's mysterious death, prompted in part by The Morning Call's story. He said it was the oldest case he's ever sent before the grand jury.
Snuka, now 72 and living in Waterford Township, N.J., was diagnosed with stomach cancer, his wife announced earlier this month.
In 1985, the Argentino family won a $500,000 wrongful death case against Snuka by default, but Snuka never paid because he claimed he was broke and couldn't afford a legal defense.
In his 2012 autobiography, Snuka maintained his innocence and said Argentino's death ruined his life.
"Many terrible things have been written about me hurting Nancy and being responsible for her death, but they are not true," he wrote. "This has been very hard on me and very hard on my family. To this day, I get nasty notes and threats. It hurts. I never hit Nancy or threatened her."
However, less than four months before Argentino's death, Snuka was charged with assaulting her in a New York motel and then fighting with police when they responded to the call. He pleaded guilty to harassment in the case with most of the serious charges being dropped.