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John Wise Update: Man charged in "mercy killing" showed signs of depression, PTSD, psychologist testifies

John Wise, 67, waits for opening remarks in Summit County Common Pleas Courtroom of Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands, Nov. 4, 2013.
Phil Masturzo
John Wise, 68, waits for opening remarks in Summit County Common Pleas Courtroom of Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands, Nov. 4, 2013.
AP Photo/Akron Beacon Journal, Phil Masturzo

(CBS/AP) AKRON, Ohio - John Wise, an Ohio man charged with shooting his wife to death in her hospital bed last year, showed signs of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and a preoccupation with his own physical ailments in a recent evaluation, a psychologist testified Thursday.

Dr. Marc Janoson testified as the defense began presenting its case. The 68-year-old Wise is pursuing an insanity defense in the August 2012 slaying of his wife of 45 years.

Janoson said he evaluated Wise last month and determined the defendant was severely depressed and wasn't fully aware of the unlawfulness of his actions. Wise's view of the shooting was that "he was doing a moral thing," said Janoson, who acknowledged he is a paid expert witness.

Janoson said the tests he conducted contradicted the evaluation of another expert who had reported that Wise knew what he was doing when he pulled the trigger. That expert has not testified.

Prosecutors contend Wise acted intentionally.

A note apparently written by Wise on the day of the shooting was found in the hospital room where, authorities say, Wise also tried to kill himself, Akron police Sgt. Dave Garro testified earlier.

The note apologized for any trauma and inconvenience and said the shooting was done with love, for "good and honorable" reasons, Garro testified. The note said the actions were dictated by the circumstances, and it indicated the couple had agreed not to let each other "live as veggies with no quality of life," Garro said.

Friends of the couple have called ita mercy killing.

But a doctor testified this week that Barbara Wise, who had suffered a cerebral aneurysm, was in stable condition at the time, wasn't terminally ill and seemed to be responding to treatment.

John Wise could face life in prison if convicted.

Complete coverage of the John Wise case on Crimesider