WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Sutton man police allege beat his live-in girlfriend to death after they got into an argument because he did not call her while he was out of town has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Thomas Starefos was originally charged with manslaughter in connection with the November death of Colleen Butler.

The Telegram & Gazette (http://bit.ly/1nbwLsP ) reports he was indicted on a first-degree murder charge and held without bail at his arraignment Monday in Worcester Superior Court.

Authorities say the 50-year-old Starefos called 911 on November 30, and officers responding to the home they shared found the 60-year-old Butler in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor suffering from severe head trauma.

Starefos said Butler struck him first and he reacted in self-defense.

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Information from: Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), http://www.telegram.com