Summit County jury verdict is in for John Wise, charged with killing wife at Akron General

AKRON, Ohio - A Summit County jury has reached a verdict on charges against John Wise after listening to powerful closing arguments Friday afternoon.

Court officials and lawyers on both sides are gathering in a Summit County Courtroom to hear the verdict. will report it as soon as it is announced.

Wise, 68, is on trial on multiple counts, including aggravated murder, for the death of his wife of 45 years, Barbara Wise.

Wise admitted on the stand on Thursday that he "lost it", and shot his wife in the head inside the Nuerointensive Care Unit at Akron General Medical Center in August of 2012.

His attorney is arguing not guilty by reason of insanity.

During an emotional closing argument, Wise's attorney, Paul Adamson, referred to the trial as "a rare case where mercy and justice meet."

"This was an act of love, not hate by a sick guy.... He fully believed that he was doing the right thing, not the wrong thing," Adamson said.

But prosecutors portrayed John Wise as a selfish man who didn't want to care for his ailing wife, facing a long recovery after suffering an aneurysm a week before the shooting.

"Mr. Wise made a horrible mistake. It's undisputed that his wife's prognosis was good. She was not a vegetable. She was not on life support," said Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Aaron Howell.

Adamson said John Wise "snapped" when he saw a tear roll down her face while he sat by her bedside.

His son drove him back to his Massillon home, where he put a 9mm handgun and the couple's living wills in a duffel bag.

He called a cab, returned to the hospital and shot Barbara Wise once in the left temple.

Adamson said John Wise was not acting rationale because he was "lovesick" and told the jury they would "sleep well" if they found him not guilty by reason of insanity.

Moments later, Assistant Summit Prosecuting Attorney Brian LoPrinzi acknowledged the case was "sad and pitiful", but urged the jury to follow the law.

"I know it's tough. We didn't bring you in here so that you could find mercy for him and let him go just because you feel sorry for him," LoPrinzi said.

The jury, which began deliberating around 2:30 p.m., must return verdicts on aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault charges. will report the verdict as soon as it is announced.

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