CLEVELAND (AP) — A man charged with fatally shooting his wife in her hospital bed killed her out of love and will tell jurors about the heartbreak he felt over her debilitated condition, his attorney said.
John Wise, of Massillon, under house arrest since last year, goes on trial Monday and will ask for the jury’s understanding, not sympathy, attorney Paul Adamson said.
The 68-year-old Wise could face life in prison if convicted of aggravated murder.
Police say Wise calmly walked into his 65-year-old wife’s room at Akron General Medical Center and shot her on Aug. 4, 2012. Barbara, his wife of 45 years, died the next morning.
A week earlier, she had suffered triple cerebral aneurysms that left her unable to speak.
More than a year later, Wise “is doing OK, but things are never going to be great for him,” Adamson said during the final week of trial preparation.
“He’s stable, but he’s still grieving, I guess is the best way to describe him, for the loss of this life,” he said.
Those who know Wise described him as a loving husband devastated by his wife’s sudden medical emergency. Some called it a mercy killing by a loving husband.
But that legal defense isn’t an option in Ohio, and Adamson said he would argue an insanity defense based on severe depression.
“Our burden there is to establish that he was suffering from some severe mental disease or defect at the time he committed the offense, and as a result he didn’t understand the wrongfulness of what he did,” Adamson said.