Taylor County woman accused of killing husband with morphine


by Mike Colombo


Posted on July 20, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 21 at 12:01 AM

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)- Kathleen Wise, 60, is at the Taylor County Detention Center, accused of killing her husband, Kenneth Wise. He's been dead since June 8, believed to have been a heart attack. When the toxicology report came back from the coroner, high levels of morphine were found in his blood causing the sheriff’s department in Campbellsville to investigate.
"Very shocking" said neighbor Nicole Dicken.
Dicken and her family have lived next to 71-year-old Kenneth Wise for almost five years. News of his death back in June was hard enough to take, learning now how their neighbor really died makes it even harder.
"He farmed, he did the cooking, she went to work. No. Never would've thought this," added Dicken.
On July 7, the coroner informed Taylor County sheriff, Allen Newton, that Kenneth Wise did not die of a heart attack, but instead a morphine overdose, the toxicology report revealing high levels of the drug in wise's blood and urine.
"As soon as the coroner’s office gave it to us for the death investigation, the dosage in his system was automatically turned over to us to investigate," said Newton.
That investigation led to the arrest and charges filed against Kathleen Wise. 

WHAS11 has learned Wise is a registered nurse, though police did not say how they believe she got the morphine. Newton calls it a unique crime in a town that doesn't have to deal with murder cases very often.
"You have one a year. Sometimes one every other year or two years. Some years you may have two. It just varies," said Newton.
Nicole Dicken says Kenneth Wise did have a heart attack some years back, and despite a recent knee surgery, to her knowledge he was healthy.
With no motive released and an investigation underway, Dicken will wait for answers while mourning the loss of her neighbor.
"I have a three year old, he was always interacting with her. We always rode back there on his farm and looked for deer. We all had a wonderful relationship with him," added Dicken.
WHAS11’s Mike Colombo did speak with a member of the Wise family earlier off camera. They were unable to comment, but did say this is a very difficult time for the family. No word yet on when Kathleen Wise will be back in court.