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Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka Pleads Not Guilty to 1983 Murder Charges

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIINovember 2, 2015

Jimmy 'Superfly’ Snuka appears at the Spooky Empire Mayhem Horror Convention at the DoubleTree Hotel on Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. (Photo by [Jeff Daly/Invision/AP)
Jeff Daly/Associated Press

Former professional wrestler Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter stemming from the 1983 death of his 23-year-old girlfriend, Nancy Argentino.

The Associated Press reported the news and indicated Snuka was having trouble responding to questions during his arraignment at the Lehigh County Courthouse in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Snuka's defense team said he may not be mentally competent to stand trial.

"He has his good days and his bad days," said attorney Robert Kirwan II, who added Snuka has early onset dementia and post-concussion syndrome. "This is a good day."

Snuka, 72, lives in New Jersey and has health issues beyond the aforementioned ailments, which were likely caused by his WWE Hall of Fame career. He underwent surgery in August to remove lymph nodes as part of his treatment for stomach cancer. 

Kirwan has said Argentino's death was an "unfortunate accident." A grand jury ruled in September that Snuka had caused Argentino's death by beating her at a hotel room the couple occupied in Whitehall Township—a suburb of Allentown—which led to the murder charges.

Although Judge Kelly Banach issued a gag order, per the prosecution's request, Kirwan objected, saying it would hinder the defense in building its case.

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