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The Suburbanite
  • Delay likely for start of Wise 'mercy-killing' trial

  • A continuance is expected to be issued Monday in the trial of John Wise, 67, of Massillon, who last summer allegedly shot and killed his wife of 45 years at an Akron hospital.

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  • A continuance is expected to be issued Monday in the trial of John Wise, 67, of Massillon, who last summer allegedly shot and killed his wife of 45 years at an Akron hospital.
    Wise’s attorney, Paul F. Adamson of Akron, said he does not expect the trial will begin Monday as originally scheduled before Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands in Summit County Court of Common Pleas.
    The case grabbed national headlines last year. In August, Wise allegedly walked into the intensive care unit of Akron General Medical Center with a loaded handgun during regular visitation hours and shot his critically ill wife in the head.
    Barbara Wise, 65, was pronounced dead the next day by the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office. She had been in the hospital for roughly a week after reportedly suffering a massive stroke at the couple’s Hawthorne Avenue NE home that left her unable to speak.  
    On July 23, a week before the shooting, John Wise called 911 and reported that his wife was having a “spasm” or “attack” and was unresponsive. He also told a dispatcher that she needed immediate medical attention.
    At the beginning of the investigation, Akron Police Capt. Daniel Zampelli called the event a “mercy type of killing.” He said Wise had been very cooperative and forthcoming with detectives.
    A Summit County grand jury indicted Wise on charges of aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault. Wise, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges, could be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole if convicted of aggravated murder. He has remained under house arrest.
    Adamson said he does not believe the charge fits the unique circumstances surrounding the crime, adding his client doesn’t have a “malicious bone in his body.”
    Adamson said John and Barbara Wise had discussed end-of-life issues before her hospitalization. During an interview with The Associated Press, one of Wise's former co-workers said the couple had agreed they never wanted to become disabled and be forced to move into a nursing home.