Man seeks clemency in wife’s killing

Associated Press


A man convicted and sentenced to six years in prison for fatally shooting his ailing wife in her hospital bed has asked the governor for clemency, his attorney said Thursday.

“John Wise is in poor health and is not likely to survive his prison sentence,” his attorney, Paul Adamson, said in an email announcing the clemency filing.

A grant of clemency could lead to a reduced sentence or release for Wise.

Wise, 68, of Massillon, 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 governor’s spokesman declined to comment on the clemency request.

The prosecutor’s office has said it would oppose any reduction in Wise’s punishment.

“John Wise received an appropriate sentence based on the unique facts of his case,” Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement Thursday. “My office does not support any further acts of clemency.”

Adamson said an online petition at backing clemency has landed more than 400 signatures.

Wise’s sentence handed down Dec. 13 was in line with a prosecution recommendation that he receive punishment lighter than the minimum 23 years on his most serious conviction, an aggravated murder count.

Prosecutors said the case warranted leniency, but they stressed that Wise’s actions were illegal.

Police say Wise calmly walked into the hospital room Aug. 4, 2012, and shot his wife of 45 years at her bedside. She died the next day. Wise told police he intended to kill himself, too, 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 appeared to be responding to treatment.

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