November 28, 2014

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Man gets 6 years for wife’s hospital killing

In this Nov. 4 file photo, John Wise, 67, waits for opening remarks in Akron. (AP Photo/Akron Beacon Journal, Phil Masturzo, File)

In this Nov. 4 file photo, John Wise, 67, waits for opening remarks in Akron. (AP Photo/Akron Beacon Journal, Phil Masturzo, File)

AKRON, Ohio — An Ohio man convicted of fatally shooting his ailing wife in her hospital bed was sentenced Friday to six years in prison.

John Wise, 68, has said he shot his debilitated wife out of love in August 2012 after she suffered aneurysms and appeared to be in pain at an Akron hospital. Mercy is not a defense to a murder charge in Ohio.

The sentence issued by Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands was in line with a prosecutor’s recommendation that Wise receive a lighter punishment than the minimum 23 years on his most serious conviction, an aggravated murder count with a firearm specification.

Wise’s attorney, Paul Adamson, said ahead of the sentencing that they will pursue clemency from the governor no matter the punishment.

County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh had called Wise’s actions illegal and dangerous but said the case warranted leniency. She had recommended that Wise be sentenced on a lesser offense, manslaughter.

Neither side had found previous case law to support the prosecutor’s suggestion that the judge could sentence Wise to six years for manslaughter, a charge that wasn’t among the counts against him but is considered a lesser included offense.

The prosecution instead asked the judge to sentence Wise for his felonious assault conviction with a firearms specification, and the judge did so. Wise was also convicted of aggravated murder and murder, which could have led to a life sentence.

Police say Wise calmly walked into his wife’s hospital room on Aug. 4, 2012, and shot her at her bedside. She died the next day.

Wise told police he intended to kill himself after shooting his wife, but the weapon jammed.

“My recollection is that I walked in there, and within two minutes, I kissed her on the cheek and shot her,” Wise told jurors.

Barbara Wise, 65, was in the intensive care unit at Akron General Medical Center after suffering triple cerebral aneurysms that had left her unable to speak, a family friend has said.

A doctor testified that Barbara Wise wasn’t terminally ill and seemed to be responding to treatment.

Wise testified that he couldn’t stand to see his wife of 45 years in pain in the hospital and decided on his course of action after seeing a tear roll down her cheek.


  • Zen Grouch

    Talked a friend out of taking his .44 Mag to the hospital to disconnect his dying mother’s brain. Poor guy hadn’t slept for days and was out of it because it was taking way longer for her to starve to death after removing her feeding tube than the doctors told him. Luckily he was open to reason when I told him that a .44 Mag going off in a hospital might induce heart attacks in other patients ‘cuz them suckers is loud. Explained that she’d be just as dead from a pillow to her face for 2 or 3 minutes…

    • luvmytoaster

      What are you even talking about – are you on drugs or what? So your opinion is for someone to smother the patient? You are a total moron – just looking at your picture disgusts me, are you mental or what?

      • Zen Grouch

        If given a choice of shooting a gun in a hospital -or- putting a pillow over someone’s face to help them move on, I’ll opt for the pillow every time.

        This method also avoids a quick trip to jail, where whatever money I didn’t waste on medical bills will go to the defense attorneys.

    • Guest

      Please tell me you are joking!! Death should take its natural course…. Not shooting or smothering someone with a pillow! How sick!! People make miraculous health turn arounds everyday, it’s called faith. Apparently you have none!

      • Zen Grouch

        So tell me…

        How “natural” is it for a doctor to advise the removal of a feeding tube from someone so they’ll starve to death over a period of days?

        Sounds like a decision that should be made by the great spirits in the sky… But what ya’ gonna do?

        • Guest

          As a worker in the healthcare field…. Sometimes when a feeding tube is removed for issues pertaining to ones Quality of Life, it is very much a natural way to die. People decide on tube feeds for various reasons…maybe the patient will get better to live a productive life… Or one is placed because the family will have a hard time letting go. There are many reasons all of which are hard decisions. In the “natural death” process ones body is shutting down it does not need food! But what would you know about any healthcare when you are suggesting to smother a patient. Try covering your own face with a pillow so you cant breathe… Then tell me how that feels!!!!!!

          • Zen Grouch

            I gather from what you’re saying, it’s perfectly acceptable for a health care professional such as yourself, to remove a feeding tube because starvation is a natural process, sanctioned by some spirit in the sky.

            In your eyes, starvation is the Christian thing to do… forcing suffering patients to starve to death, even if this process takes many days of unimaginable suffering,

            Yes suffering… You yourself admit that the kind of subject we’re talking about here is aware of pain while starving over a period of days if not weeks, since depriving them of oxygen with a pillow would cause even greater suffering… inhumane suffering!

            Hey, how’s this one… starve yourself to death and tell me how THAT feels!

            Anyway… not being a health care professional, I guess I don’t know what it’s like to play god, knowing all my decisions are the correct ones and know in my heart that those who would disagree are obviously monsters.

          • Guest

            I dont remove feeding tubes..lol. I never said I was a Dr or a nurse. I have seen many people go through the last days of life and the dying process…without ever even having a feeding tube. They DON’T eat when they are dying! So maybe you can’t understand… While you mumble about a healthy individual starving themself… I’ll end my part because you have no clue what your talking about. As if you have any knowledge about the dying process… Read up on it.. They maybe you will understand why your comments are completely disregarded!

          • Zen Grouch

            You present yourself as an expert, up to your elbows in the dying, as if that will teach you something through osmosis that us laymen will never understand.

            You’re quick to disregard and diminish the viewpoints of others, because they can’t measure up to your first hand knowledge…

            …yet here you are, sharing your valuable knowledge.

            You are a saint sent here by God Almighty to deal with the ignorant!

            Thank you… thank you, oh so very much! I am humbled in the light of your magnificence.

  • John Davidson

    That is about 5 years 364 days to many.

  • ken m

    shoulda used my parents where rich and I didn t know better defense like the rich kid

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    And yet a rich kid in Texas gets probation for killing 4 innocent people while he was driving drunk BECAUSE HIS PARENTS SPOILED HIM? Bizarro World.