John Wise, 66, is suspected in what is being referred to as a mercy killing… (Summit County Sheriff Department )
An Ohio man suspected of killing his ailing wife surprised a courtroom Tuesday when told he was being charged with attempted murder, asking the judge: "Is she not dead?"
John Wise, 66, of Massillon, Ohio, is accused of shooting his wife of 45 years as he stood at her bedside in the intensive care unit of Akron General Medical Center on Saturday. The single gunshot brought security officers rushing into the room, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Wise surrendered without incident, and has reportedly been cooperating with investigators in what is now being referred to as a suspected mercy killing.
Barbara Wise, 65, died the following day. She had been in critical condition in the ICU for several days, though details of her illness were not immediately available.
On Tuesday, John Wise made his first court appearance via video from jail. He wore a red-and-white striped jail outfit, and has a white beard that reaches down to his chest, according to the Associated Press.
When told he was facing a charge of aggravated attempted murder, Wise became confused, the news service reported.
"Is she not dead?" he asked Akron Municipal Court Judge Marvin Shapiro.
The judge did not answer Wise, but told him that he would soon have an attorney who could help with all his questions. Wise's bond was set at $1 million.
The attempted-murder charge against Wise is expected to be upgraded after an autopsy, which is expected to take place later this week, according to the Associated Press.
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