POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho man, who authorities say admitted to killing his wife, has pleaded not guilty to the crime.

The Idaho State Journal reports Eugene Ruff was charged with first-degree murder in July after officers found his wife, Bettilee Ruff, dead at the couple's Aberdeen home.

Court records show while en route to the Ruffs' residence, Eugene Ruff told dispatch officers that he had intentionally shot his wife and that she was possibly still breathing.

He also told dispatch he no longer was in possession of his gun and that he would wait for law enforcement to arrive.

Eugene Ruff's attorney, Curtis Smith, was not immediately available for comment.

Eugene Ruff is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 4 for a pretrial conference.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Eugene Ruff faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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Information from: Idaho State Journal, http://www.journalnet.com