NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) — An Easthampton man charged with killing his girlfriend has had his request for a new lawyer denied.

Ryan Welch asked a judge last week in Hampshire Superior Court for a new court-appointed attorney because of disagreements over defense strategy.

But the judge said in a ruling that Welch's "displeasure or mistrust of appointed counsel is not justified," and would not lead to "an unjust verdict."

The 37-year-old Welch is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to the February 2012 slaying of Jessica Ann Pripstein.

An autopsy determined the 39-year-old Pripstein died from a "sharp-force injury" to her neck.

Welch told police he found Pripstein dead in her apartment and was so distraught he tried to kill himself. His lawyer says he has mental health issues.