Trial set for man in wife’s hospital killing

A man charged with fatally shooting his wife in her hospital bed killed her out of love and will tell jurors about the heartbreak he felt over her debilitated condition, his attorney said.

John Wise of Massillon, who has been under house arrest since last year, will go on trial Monday and will ask for the jury’s understanding, not sympathy, attorney Paul Adamson said.

Wise, 68, could face life in prison if convicted of aggravated murder.

Police say Wise calmly walked into his 65-year-old wife’s room at Akron General Medical Center and shot her on Aug. 4, 2012. Barbara, his wife of 45 years, died the next morning.

A week earlier, she had suffered triple cerebral aneurysms that left her unable to speak.

Those who know Wise described him as a loving husband who was devastated by his wife’s sudden medical emergency. Some called it a mercy killing.

But that legal defense isn’t an option in Ohio, and Adamson said he would argue insanity based on severe depression.

“Our burden there is to establish that he was suffering from some severe mental disease or defect at the time he committed the offense, and as a result he didn’t understand the wrongfulness of what he did,” Adamson said. “Now, he did it out of love, but he wasn’t thinking rationally when he did it.”

Prosecutors declined to discuss the case ahead of the trial.

— Associated Press

New York
Police: Breakup sets off murder-suicide

Police say a Long Island man distraught over the breakup with his girlfriend stabbed her to death a day before her 33rd birthday, then killed himself.

Suffolk County police responded to the murder-suicide in North Amityville after getting a 911 call just before 10 p.m. Saturday that a man was attacking a woman.

Officers found Virginia Vasquez, 32, and Stephen Guillaume, 35, dead in the doorway of their home.

Police say Vasquez’s 14-year-old daughter tried to help her mother and was cut on the hand; she needed surgery. The woman’s 4-year-old son was not harmed.

Vasquez had two other children — daughters ages 7 and 15, Newsday reported. Guillaume was the father of two youngest children.

— Associated Press

Small alligator found at Chicago airport

A small alligator found under an escalator at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport has left authorities puzzled.

A maintenance worker discovered the alligator, which is about a foot long, on Friday in Terminal 3, Chicago Police spokesman Jose Estrada said Sunday.

An officer captured the reptile by putting a trash can over it.

“We don’t know where it came from or how long it’d been residing in the airport facilities,” Estrada said.

The animal is being cared for by the Chicago Herpetological Society.

— Associated Press

Hearing set on Skakel release

A Connecticut judge has scheduled a hearing for arguments on whether he has the authority to release Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel from prison while he awaits a new trial in the 1975 killing of neighbor Martha Moxley. Judge Thomas Bishop will hold the hearing Wednesday in Rockville Superior Court. Bishop ordered a new trial for Skakel, saying his trial attorney did not adequately represent him in 2002 when he was found guilty of bludgeoning Moxley with a golf club. Skakel and Moxley were 15-year-old neighbors in Greenwich. Prosecutors said Bishop doesn’t have the authority to grant bond because of an automatic stay of his ruling while they appeal. Skakel’s attorney said that Bishop does have the authority and that keeping Skakel in custody would be a miscarriage of justice.

— Associated Press