A Massillon man has been charged with aggravated murder in the shooting death of his wife last weekend at Akron General Medical Center.
John E. Wise, 66, was accused of aggravated murder with “prior calculation and design,” according to Akron police records released in court Wednesday.
A Summit County grand jury is scheduled to hear the case against Wise on Tuesday when formal charges will be considered, court records show.
Wise, who appeared in Akron Municipal Court by video from the county jail Wednesday morning, has retained Paul F. Adamson as his attorney.
An additional charge of attempted murder, which was filed when police arrested Wise at the hospital Saturday night before his wife was pronounced dead, also will be taken up by the grand jury, court officials said.
Akron Police Capt. Dan Zampelli said the department’s investigators suspect Wise shot his 65-year-old wife, Barbara, to end her suffering. She was taken by helicopter to the hospital July 28, a close friend of Wise said, after she was stricken at home by a triple cerebral aneurysm.
Barbara Wise was on the third floor of Akron General’s intensive care unit when the shooting occurred at her bedside about 8:45 p.m. Saturday, a hospital spokesman said.
She was pronounced dead the following morning. The Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Adamson said Wise’s son, the couple’s only child, “is very supportive of his father, and very understanding.”
John Wise had no previous record, Adamson said.
“I met with him [at the jail] for a few hours. He seems like a very good man, married 45 years and deeply in love,” Adamson said. “I’m confident in saying anything and everything he did related to his wife was done out of love.”
He said he would deal with the aggravated murder charge, if an indictment is returned on that charge, down the road.
“Right now, Mr. Wise is grieving, the family’s grieving, but they’re sticking together,” Adamson said.
If the grand jury indicts Wise for aggravated murder, he could face life in prison with no chance of parole.
Wise, who is in custody at the county jail on a $1 million, 10 percent cash bond, is scheduled to appear for arraignment Aug. 22 in Common Pleas Court.
Adamson said he hopes to soon achieve a reduction in the bond.
Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or firstname.lastname@example.org.