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August 3, 2016

Prosecutor Asks Judge To Dismiss Charges Against Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka, Judge Denies Request

In an unusual move on Tuesday, Lehigh County Chief Deputy District Attorney Charles Gallagher asked Lehigh County Judge Kelly L. Banach to dismiss the charges against professional wrestling legend Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka, 73, relating to the 1983 death of his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino. Gallagher made the unorthodox request after his motion to force Snuka to undergo outpatient treatment was denied, and following Banach's decision that Snuka was incompetent to stand trial.

Although Gallagher is convinced that Snuka is guilty, the prosecutor averred that Banach's decision not to force Snuka to undergo outpatient treatment could land the case into legal limbo. Under American law, a person cannot be forced to stand trial for a crime if he is substantially unable to understand the nature of the proceedings or participate and assist in his own defense.

"If you believe that he's not going to become competent, then what's the point?" Gallagher asked Banach.

Obviously, Snuka's attorney, Robert Kirwan, agreed with Gallagher's request to have the case tossed. Kirwan claimed that Snuka's dementia is to the point that the inaugural ECW Heavyweight Champion no longer recognizes his own wife and that the prosecution will not be able to find an expert who will testify that Snuka's dementia can be reversed.

Snuka, who made headlines recently for joining a class action lawsuit by former WWE performers against the company for concussion-related brain injuries, will return to court in December. According to Banach, she would reconsider dismissing the case at that time. Banach refused to dismiss the case on Tuesday, as she was uncomfortable with making the decision based on a four-day competency hearing.

During the competency hearings, defense expert, forensic psychologist Frank Dattilio described Snuka as a man of rapidly declining physical and mental health while, for the prosecution, forensic psychiatrist John O'Brien, testified that he observed Snuka interacting with people in the courthouse and concluded that the master of the 'Superfly Splash' was merely putting on an act to avoid prison. Gallagher echoed that notion at Tuesday's hearing as well.

"He [has] practiced his whole life by being a malingerer in his wrestling field. He [has] been an actor his whole life," Gallagher said.

source: mccall.com

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