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Death Row Inmate Sues For Divorce From Reluctant Wife

July 8, 1994

STARKE, Fla. (AP) _ A woman who fought for years to marry a death row inmate is fighting his bid for a divorce, saying she still loves him and believes adultery would be the only grounds to dissolve the marriage.

Frank Valdes sued for divorce in May, claiming the Jan. 21 marriage in Florida State Prison was ″irretrievably broken.″

But after fighting prison officials for four years to marry Valdes, Wanda Eads Valdes says she’s still in love.

″This is insane,″ she said Thursday. ″Why does a death row inmate need a divorce?″

Valdes, 33, took his wife off his visiting list in April and she last saw him on April 14.

″He was very abusive and refused a contact visit,″ she said.

Mrs. Valdes, 51, said she objects to the divorce on several grounds.

″My religious belief is that you only divorce for adultery,″ she said.

″I always knew there was never really going to be a life together. No house. No sex or anything like that, but we had each other spiritually,″ she said.

Since the wedding, they have been allowed contact visits. Before their marriage they had not been allowed in the same room because she served five years in prison for robbery before the case was overturned on appeal.

Valdes was convicted in 1990 in the shooting death of a prison guard during a botched escape attempt.

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