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Prosecutors ask lesser sentence for Ohio man who shot wife

John Wise is pictured in this handout booking photo received by Reuters August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Akron Police Department/Handout
John Wise is pictured in this handout booking photo received by Reuters August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Akron Police Department/Handout

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Prosecutors have asked a judge on Friday to sentence an Ohio man convicted of shooting his wife to death while she was lying in a hospital bed suffering from a brain aneurism to six years in prison instead of a possible life term.

John Wise, 68, was convicted in November of aggravated murder, murder and felonious assault with firearms in the killing of his wife Barbara Wise in August 2012 at a hospital in Akron, Ohio.

The sentencing is scheduled for Friday afternoon before Summit County Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands.

"The minimum mandatory sentence would be unduly harsh based upon the unique circumstances of this case," assistant prosecuting attorney Brian LoPrinzi said in a court document.

Before the trial, Wise rejected an offer of manslaughter that would have carried a possible six-year prison sentence and now faces a possible a mandatory life sentence with no parole for 23 years on the aggravated murder conviction.

Summit County prosecutors asked Rowlands to merge the counts against Wise and consider a lesser sentence of six years in a court document filed in November.

Wise was accused of taking a concealed weapon to his wife's hospital room and shooting her in the head. She was pronounced dead the next day. The couple had been married 45 years.

Barbara Wise had been in the hospital for a week after suffering the aneurism and, according to court documents, John Wise had begun to form a "mistaken belief that his wife was suffering and in a vegetative state."

LoPrinzi said prosecutors reviewed the evidence and Wise's psychological evaluations to reach the request that he be sentenced to six years in prison, finding that he had no prior criminal history and there was no evidence of evil intent.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey and Dan Grebler)

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