AKRON (AP) - A man accused of shooting his wife of 45 years in a hospital intensive care unit in what may have been a mercy killing was charged today with aggravated murder, and his attorney said the man always acted out of love.
John Wise appeared before a municipal court judge in Akron via video from jail. No plea was entered. He must return to court Aug. 22.
Wise, who lived with his wife in Massillon, is accused of shooting her at her bedside in the ICU unit of Akron General Medical Center Saturday. She died the next morning.
His attorney, Paul Adamson, said after the brief court session that the unfolding case would show Wise acted out of love.
"I'm thoroughly convinced he's a good man. I think his past history bears that out," Adamson said.
"Forty-five years of marriage, blessed to be deeply in love with his wife throughout those 45 years, and I am absolutely confident that everything that he's ever done for his wife has been done out of deep love, including the events that just recently transpired."
Wise appeared in court Tuesday and was apparently confused about initially being charged only with attempted murder, asking "Is she not dead?" Visiting Judge Marvin Shapiro told Wise that he would soon have an attorney who could answer his questions.
Prosecutors upgraded the charge to aggravated murder after an autopsy showed that Barbara Wise died from a gunshot wound to her head. A county medical examiner ruled her death a homicide.