GREENFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The man accused of killing Kelsey Clifford faced a judge at Franklin County Superior Court on Wednesday.
Keith Hamel, 23, said he is not guilty, but the state alleges they have overwhelming evidence against him.
Sitting in handcuffs, Hamel pleaded not guilty to the murder of Kelsey Clifford, 26, of Leominster.
According to court documents obtained by Western Mass News, the Commonwealth said Hamel murdered and robbed Clifford on November 11.
Police found Clifford's body with several sharp injuries to her head and face near a water treatment facility in Athol. Investigators said her phone and money were both missing.
Later that day, police found a sweatshirt covered in Clifford's blood on the outside of it. Court documents said Hamel's DNA was found on the inside of the sleeve.
The state alleged Hamel lied to investigators about not having a phone.
Investigators later determined Hamel destroyed his phone and deleted Facebook messages from Clifford's account and his own account that suggest he was alone with her on November 11.
However, Western Mass News has learned this is not the first time Hamel has been in trouble with the law.
At the time of Clifford's murder, court documents show Hamel had eight open cases in Orange District Court. In March, while behind bars as a pre-trial inmate, he was charged with assault and battery on another inmate.
In the Clifford case, Hamel is facing several charges including murder and misleading police. If convicted, he will serve a minimum of life without parole on the murder charge.
Hamel is being held without bail. He will be back in court in April.