AKRON, Ohio — A man suspected of the mercy killing of his wife who was shot in a hospital’s intensive care unit seemed perplexed at the charge when he stood before a judge today, asking whether his wife was indeed dead.

John Wise, 66, with a white beard down to his chest and dressed in a red and white striped jail outfit, appeared before an Akron municipal court judge via video from jail on an aggravated attempted murder charge. His bond was set at $1 million.

The judge delayed his formal arraignment until Wednesday to give Wise time to get an attorney.

Wise, who lived with his wife in Massillon, is charged with shooting his wife of 45 years at her bedside in the ICU unit of Akron General Medical Center Saturday. She died the next morning.

The attempted murder charge against him is expected to be upgraded after an autopsy, expected to occur today or Wednesday.

But Wise was apparently confused about the attempted murder charge today, asking “Is she not dead?”

Visiting Judge Marvin Shapiro in Akron Municipal Court didn’t answer his question but said he would soon have an attorney who could.

“We’re going to get you an attorney who will be able to answer all of your questions for you, sir,” Shapiro told him.

Wise surrendered to hospital security after the shooting and has cooperated with investigators.

Police said Barbara Wise had been in critical condition in the ICU for several days, but details of her illness haven’t been made public.

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