Ohio man who shot wife at hospital sentenced to 6 years

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 13, 2013 4:09 PM

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A man convicted of shooting his wife to death while she was lying in a hospital bed was sentenced by an Ohio judge on Friday to six years in prison after prosecutors requested leniency in the case.

John Wise, 68, was convicted in November of aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault with firearms in the killing of his wife Barbara Wise in August 2012 at a hospital in Akron, Ohio, where she was being treated for a brain aneurism.

According to court documents, John Wise had begun to form a "mistaken belief that his wife was suffering and in a vegetative state."

Wise was accused of taking a concealed weapon to his wife's hospital room and shooting her in the head. She was pronounced dead the next day. The couple had been married 45 years.

He appeared in court in a wheelchair for sentencing on Friday by Summit County Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands.

Rowlands, who could have given Wise a life sentence, followed the recommendation of prosecutors and sentenced him to three years in prison for felonious assault and three years for the firearms charge.

Prosecutors had said in a presentencing court document in November that the minimum mandatory sentence would be unduly harsh because of the unique circumstances of the case.

"It is not our intention to minimize what happened," Summit County Prosecuting Attorney Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement. "You cannot bring a loaded gun into a hospital and shoot someone. John Wise killed his wife. He endangered everyone who was at the hospital that day."

Prosecutors said they reviewed the evidence and Wise's psychological evaluations before requesting that he be sentenced to six years in prison. They found that he had no prior criminal history and there was no evidence of evil intent.

Before the trial, Wise rejected an offer of manslaughter that would have carried a possible six-year prison sentence. He faced a possible mandatory life sentence with no parole for 23 years on the aggravated murder conviction.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey and Dan Grebler)