A judge has dismissed the murder case against retired wrestler Jimmy Snuka after he was deemed incompetent to stand trial.
The 73-year-old, who was nicknamed Superfly during his wrestling heyday in the 1970s and 80s, was arrested at his home in New Jersey in September, 2015 on counts of third degree murder and involuntary manslaughter relating to the death of his girlfriend Nancy Argentino in 1983.
He was accused of assaulting Argentino, then 23, and leaving her in their shared motel room in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She was subsequently found with serious head injuries and she later passed away.
Snuka, the only person of interest in the case, was never charged with Argentino's death around the time but the investigation was reopened in 2014.
Snuka pleaded not guilty to the charges in November, 2015 and the case stalled in June (16) when Judge Kelly L. Banach found him incompetent to stand trial.
In a closed-door hearing on Tuesday (03Jan17), the judge granted his defence attorney Robert Kirwan's motion to end the case, according to local newspaper The Morning Call.
"It was time for there to be closure," Kirwan said after the hearing. "The medical evidence showed that he was not getting better, and in fact he's getting worse."
Back in June (16), Banach concluded he was mentally impaired to the point he could not understand court proceedings or help his defence. She ruled she was satisfied that Snuka will not regain competency and "it would be unjust to resume the prosecution."
At that hearing, Kirwan claimed Snuka was in hospice care and had six months to live, but a psychiatrist hired by the prosecution testified he was faking dementia.
Argentino's sister Lorraine Salome told the publication she expected the outcome and added, "It will be disappointing if we can't appeal it."
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