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The wife of the man authorities say is 18-year fugitive John E. List says she doesn't believe her husband is the man wanted in the 1971 slayings of his first wife, mother, and three children.

Delores Clark, 50, told a news conference Thursday that she has seen her husband in jail, but she didn't discuss the case with him.Robert P. Clark was arrested June 1 on a federal fugitive warrant and is being held in the Henrico County Jail awaiting proceedings to extradite him to Union County, N.J., where the slayings occurred.

In a brief hearing Thursday, U.S. Magistrate David G. Lowe authorized federal officials to release Clark into Virginia custody pending extradition. Later Thursday, a county judge set a hearing for July 6 and ordered him held without bail.

His attorney, David Baugh, said his client will not waive his right to an extradition hearing.

Mrs. Clark said she has never suspected her husband, even when a neighbor once showed her an article about the List case accompanied by a picture of the suspect that resembled Clark.

Mrs. Clark said she never showed that article to her husband.

"I dismissed it because I thought it was not true," she said. "It's still not true."

Mrs. Clark, 50, said she called the news conference to get reporters to stop calling her and her family.

"My brother has multiple sclerosis. My mother is 80 years old," she said, her voice breaking. "She is not a strong lady and I don't need this for my family."

Mrs. Clark said she met her husband in 1977.

"I have never known Robert to be anything but a sweet and gentle man of good character. We have had a happy marriage filled with mutual respect and love."