A Fairfax Circuit Court judge yesterday denied a defense motion to supress the confession of a 21-year-old Clinton, Md., man who has admitted to participating in a murder-for-hire scheme.

Judge Richard J. Jamborsky ruled that the 49-page statement of James Thomas Clark Jr., who is accused of murder in connection with the death of a county gas station operator, was admissible as evidence because the statement was given voluntarily and the defendant was aware of his rights.

Gary Davis, one of two court-appointed attorneys for Clark, argued that the confession should not be admitted because Clark gave the statement in exchange for "promises."

Clark, who is scheduled for trial on Tuesday, testified that he gave two Fairfax County police investigators an oral and written statement about the Jan. 31 death of George H. Scarborough because he was led to believe that if he "cooperated" he could receive "a lighter sentence."

However, under cross examination by Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan, Clark said that his 49-page statement to the investigators was the truth.

Clark also said under questioning from Horan that he recently told Dr. Ludwig Fink, a state psychiatrist who examined Clark to determine if he is mentally competent to stand trial, that he would rather be sentenced to death than life imprisonment, if he is found guilty, because he "doesn't like it in jail."

Clark and his 21-year-old cousin, Charles D. Stewart, are accused of killing Texaco station operator Scorborough as he walked in the front door of his townhouse at 6541 Yadkin Ct., Franconia.

Scarborough's estranged wife, Jamie and Betty M. Holler, 37, of 416 N. Howard St., Alexandria, also have been charged with murder in connection with the crime. Holler has admitted in court to being the go-between in the plot.

Trial dates for Holler, Stewart and Scarborough are Sept. 7, Sept. 14 and Oct. 19, respectively.