Gregory Vance Credit: Photo courtesy of Portland Police Department

PORTLAND, Maine — A Portland man charged with killing his girlfriend has pleaded not guilty.

Sixty-one-year-old Gregory Vance entered the plea during a brief hearing on Wednesday. The Portland Press Herald reports that he was indicted earlier this month.

He’s been held without bail since his arrest on March 17, the day Patricia Grassi’s body was found. An autopsy shows the 59-year-old woman was strangled.

[Man charged with murder in Portland woman’s death]

Court documents indicate Vance told police Grassi was “tormenting” and “slapping” him, and that he confessed in phone calls to his daughter and ex-wife.

Tina Heather Nadeau, one of his attorneys, told the newspaper that the defense continues to conduct its own investigation and research into what happened.

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