PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s highest court has rejected the appeal of a Maine man who is serving a 55-year prison sentence for the 2006 beating death of his girlfriend.

Shannon Atwood of Canaan said his murder conviction last year should be thrown out because the presiding lower-court judge didn’t recuse herself from the trial after learning her former hairdresser had once been assaulted by Atwood. Atwood further claimed the court allowed inadmissible hearsay evidence into the trial.

In a unanimous ruling Thursday, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court rejected Atwood’s claims.

Atwood was convicted in July 2008 in the death of 38-year-old Cheryl Murdoch.

He was also charged with murdering his wife, Shirley Moon Atwood, in 2006, but that charge was dropped.