Citing the “unique facts” of the case, the Summit County prosecutor is asking a judge to reduce the sentence of a man found guilty of killing his wife after she suffered a series of brain aneurysms.
On Friday, a jury found John Wise, 68, guilty of aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault, all with firearm specifications, for shooting his wife Barbara in the head while she lay in the intensive care unit at Akron General Medical Center last year.
Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said she will file a motion today asking Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands to sentence Wise on manslaughter instead of aggravated murder.
“What Mr. Wise did was illegal and very dangerous,” Walsh said. “He killed someone, and he endangered the lives of everyone in that hospital.
“However, the minimum punishment for aggravated murder with a firearm specification is life in prison with the earliest parole possibility after 23 years. As prosecutors, it is our duty to seek justice. In light of the unique facts of this case, a shorter prison sentence is just,” she said.
If sentenced on manslaughter, Wise, of Massillon, could be sentenced to six years in prison.
Wise told the jury he wanted to end his wife’s suffering after seeing a tear run down her cheek and a grimace that suggested she was in pain. He said he snapped, and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
Rowlands will sentence Wise on Monday at noon.