AKRON, Ohio – An Ohio man convicted of fatally shooting his ailing wife in her hospital bed was sentenced Friday to six years in prison and plans to seek clemency from the governor.
John Wise, 68, has 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 sentence issued by Summit County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands was in line with prosecutors recommendation that the Massillon man receive a lighter punishment than the minimum 23 years on his most serious conviction, an aggravated murder count.
Holding a cane and wearing a striped jail outfit, Wise remained seated during the hearing. He made a brief statement, choking up as he apologized to his family and his son. He also thanked the prosecutors and the court.
Prosecutors said the case warranted leniency, but they emphasized that Wises actions were illegal.
It is not our intention to minimize what happened. You cannot bring a loaded gun into a hospital and shoot someone, Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said in a statement after the sentencing.
In court, Assistant Prosecutor Brian LoPrinzi told the judge: We believe that although his motive may have been pure, he was wrong.
Wises attorney, Paul Adamson, said they will pursue clemency from the governor. He called the shooting an aberrational act for Wise.
Ive never represented a finer man, Adamson told the judge.
The prosecutors office said it would oppose any reduction in Wises punishment.
Prosecutors had recommended that Wise be sentenced to six years for manslaughter, a charge that wasnt among the counts against him but is considered a lesser included offense. After neither side found previous case law to support that unusual suggestion, the prosecution instead asked the judge to sentence Wise under his felonious assault conviction with a firearms specification, and the judge did so.