Judge Mary Margaret Rowlands in Akron told attorneys for both sides Tuesday the sentence for John Wise, 68, of Massillon must fit within legal limits.
The prosecutor said earlier the unique circumstances warranted a lesser sentence for Wise than a mandatory 20 years to life for aggravated murder.
Instead, Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh suggested Wise be sentenced on the lesser included crime of manslaughter and get a six-year term.
The defense welcomed the leniency offer.
No sentencing date was set.
The Akron Beacon Journal reported Wise sat quietly in a wheelchair during the court session.