World Wrestling Entertainment has suspended its contract with Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, charged earlier this week in connection with the 1983 death of his girlfriend, and is in the process of removing him from its website and the WWE Hall of Fame.
WWE confirmed the suspension of Snuka’s non-wrestling “Legends” contract, which essentially had him operating as an ambassador for the company, and added that it is “currently removing his images from our media platforms pending the outcome of this case.” Earlier this year, WWE took similar steps to distance itself from Hulk Hogan, after it was revealed the former Heavyweight Champion made racially insensitive comments.
Snuka, now 72, surrendered to authorities at the Lehigh County Courthouse in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, and was formally charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter after a grand jury determined he had repeatedly assaulted girlfriend Nancy Argentino in May 1983 then left her to die in an Allentown-area motel room. Though he was the sole person of interest in their initial investigation, police never charged Snuka in connection with Argentino’s death. The case went cold until last year, when the Lehigh County District Attorney turned it over to a grand jury after a local newspaper’s investigation uncovered a never-before-seen autopsy that ruled Argentino’s death was a homicide.
That grand jury recommended Snuka be charged with killing Argentino, saying, “his assaultive acts and his failure to obtain medical attention resulted in her death.”
According to Allentown’s The Morning Call, when Snuka turned himself in on Tuesday, he was in a wheelchair and hooked to a feeding tube. Earlier this year, his wife announced that the wrestling legend had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, and his attorney, William E. Moore, told reporters Snuka is also suffering from dementia after three decades of wrestling-related head injuries.
“He is not in good shape physically or mentally, ” Moore, who is not representing Snuka in the criminal case, said. “I’m not sure he realized what was going on. I’m not sure what his cognitive abilities are.”
Moore also said he wasn’t sure if Snuka was competent to stand trial.
“I don’t see it ever getting better,” he said of Snuka’s condition.
Snuka was booked at Lehigh County Jail, and subsequently released on $100,000 bail – posted by his first wife, Sharon Georgi. He’s due back in a Whitehall Township courtroom on September 21.