Earlier today, the Allentown Morning Call posted an article by Sarah Cassi going into the primary evidence against Jimmy Snuka in the death of Nancy Argentino that led to his indictment on charges of third degree murder and a lesser included charge of invluntary manslaughter. The information comes from the grand jury presentment, which Irv Muchnick uploaded to his website as a PDF. The three primary factors cited in the indictment are:
* The medical and forensic evidence from the autopsy report.
* Snuka's many conflicting versions of what happened.
* Testimony about other domestic abuse incidents involving Snuka.
The autopsy report was, for whatever reason, something that the district attorney's office had refused to release publicly for 30 years. The Morning Call found it in 2013 via the Argentin Family's 1983 wrongful death lawsuit against Snuka (they won a default judgment). The coroner ruled the case a homicide, citing that Argentino's had injury was consistent with hitting a stationary object, but nothing (including the state of her clothing) was consistent with Snuka's story of her slipping and falling outside. She also had numerous bruises indicative of what was termed "mate abuse."
Snuka has given at least seven different versions of what happened. The night Argentino died, it was either that he had shoved her and she hit her head, or she did while they were "messing around" outside their motel room. The version he settled on decades later (which was similar to what he said in his official police interview in 1983) for his autobiography was much different:
One afternoon, we were driving to Allentown, Pennsylvania—just she and I—from a Connecticut show because I had a TV shoot the next morning. We were drinking some beers, and she asked me to stop so that she could pee. I pulled over to the side of the road and I waited in the car for her, drinking. When she came back, she told me she slipped on the way and hit her head. I didn't see it happen, but I remember she told me she was jumping over a little river or stream that was there and she slipped.
When the police pressed Snuka on the inconsistencies in 1983, Snuka said that he hospital employees who told them he said he shoved Argentino "were talking too fast at me." In Tony Atlas's own autobiography (which was not cited by the grand jury), he wrote that his own now-ex-wife Lisa was also dating Snuka at the time, was in his and Argentino's room when it happened. According to Atlas, Lisa's version is that Snuka, enraged after Argentino said their drug dealer was out of cocaine, pushed her, causing her to hit her head on a desk.
As for Snuka's domestic violence history, there were two incidents brought up. The first, in January 1983, saw Snuka arrested for assaulting Argentino in Salina, New York. That one got a fair bit of mainstream coverage at the time thanks to police dogs being needed to restrain Snuka, who pleaded guilty to harassment. In addition, according to the grand jury presentment, Sharon Georgi, Snuka's ex-wife, and Debbie Rogers (widow of Buddy Rogers; they were the Jimmy and Sharon's neighbors) testified about Snuka beating Sharon in October of 1983. Also, Irv Muchnick's original article about Argentino's death, while not cited by the grand jury, included this passage:
Former wrestling great Buddy Rogers, who'd been hired by McMahon to serve as Snuka's TV "manager" and to get him to important matches on time, said he stopped driving with the Superfly after he brazenly snorted coke when they were in the car together. "Jimmy could be a sweet person, but on that stuff he was totally uncontrollable," said Rogers, who was also Snuka's neighbor on Coles Mill Road in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Snuka's wife, with whom he had four children, befriended Rodgers' wife. "Jimmy used to beat the sh-- out of that woman," Rogers said. "She would show up at our house, bruised and battered. But she couldn't leave him – he had her hooked on the same junk he was using."
Source: Allentown Morning Call