A Warren, R.I., man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a murder charge in the strangling death of his girlfriend inside her Swansea home.
David Sousa, 54, was ordered held without bail after entering his plea in Bristol Superior Court in Fall River and has a pretrial hearing scheduled for June 30, the Associated Press reported.
Sousa is accused of killing Lisa Mello, 52, inside her home on 500 Ocean Grove Ave. on Nov. 24, 2012, District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter’s office said Monday in a statement.
“Mr. Sousa was indicted for the murder in late October and has been in custody in Rhode Island on a probation violation since,” the statement said. “Mr. Sousa was rendited back to Massachusetts [on Monday] afternoon.”
Sutter’s office added, “Mr. Sousa was Ms. Mello’s boyfriend around the time of her death.”
Neighbors told the Globe shortly after Mello’s death that they were shocked by the news.
Lisa Vieira described Mello as a “nice girl” who looked after her disabled mother.
Another neighbor, Suzanne Dumais, said she had known Mello for more than three decades and had “no inkling” that she may have been in danger.
“I’ve always got along with Lisa. Never had any misunderstandings,” Dumais said last year. “You respected Lisa and she respected you.”