Campbellsville woman charged in husband's death

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High dosage of morphine found in Joseph Kenneth Wise's system.

By Calen McKinney

A Campbellsville woman has been accused of murdering her husband with an overdose of morphine.


Kathleen Wise, 60, of 4203 Bengal Road was arrested Tuesday at 5 p.m.

According to a Taylor County Sheriff's Office report, the office received a call on July 7 about a death that occurred on June 8.

The report states that Taylor County Coroner Terry Dabney pronounced Joseph Kenneth Wise, 71, dead at his home in Campbellsville. At the time, it was believed Mr. Wise had died of a heart attack.

However, according to the sheriff's report, toxicology reports returned to Dabney's office on June 28 showed that an extremely high dosage of morphine was found in Mr. Wise's blood and urine. Dabney turned over those toxicology reports to the sheriff's office for further investigation.

The report states that after its investigation, the sheriff's office charged Mrs. Wise with murder-domestic violence.

She was arrested and booked into the Taylor County Detention Center by Taylor County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Pickard on Tuesday at about 8 p.m. No bond was set and she remained incarcerated as of press time.

On Wednesday morning, Dabney said Mr. Wise's original cause of death was a heart attack.

Dabney declined to comment on whether the toxicology reports performed on Mr. Wise are common after a death, citing the ongoing investigation.

Dabney also declined to reveal Mr. Wise's new cause of death, though he said he has ruled it a homicide.

According to Mr. Wise's obituary, he died at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, June 8.

He was a member of Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church and served in the United States Army.

Survivors include two sons and a daughter and their spouses, Greg and Susan Wise of Campbellsville, Keith and Hollie Wise of Lebanon and Kristi Wise of Elizabethtown; a stepson and stepdaughter-in-law, Kevin and Jennifer Hibbard of Greensburg; seven grandchildren, Olivia Wise, Preston Wise, Zach Wise, Seth Wise, Sarah Conner, Tyler Marsh and Mackenzie Marsh and several other relatives.

Funeral was Friday, June 10 at Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church in Campbellsville. Burial was in Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church Cemetery with full military honors by the Marion County Veterans Honor Guard.

Parrott & Ramsey Funeral Home of Campbellsville was in charge of arrangements.

The sheriff's office is continuing its investigation.

Domestic violence murder is a Class A felony, punishable by as much as life in prison.

The Kentucky Board of Nursing website states that Wise is a registered nurse, though her license is under investigation.

According to the Taylor Circuit Clerk's office, there are no court dates set in Mrs. Wise's case yet, though she could appear in Taylor District Court for arraignment this week or next.