A shackled Daniel Tavares, 47, was held without bail after pleading not guilty in Fall River Superior Court to the 1988 slaying of Gayle Botelho, 32, a mother of three.
Botelho told her roommate she was leaving her Fall River apartment for a few minutes but never came back. Her remains were found 12 years later in the yard of a Fall River home where Tavares had lived. She had been stabbed to death.
Botelho and Tavares knew each other, authorities said, and last year, a woman who had given Tavares an alibi changed her story. Tavares told authorities where to find Botelho's body, and he had previously told police that she died during a "wild party."
Tavares had also pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 1991 death of his mother and was in prison until 2007.
A judge in Massachusetts released him on personal recognizance while he was awaiting trial for assaults on prison guards, despite protests from prosecutors, who asked for $100,000 cash bail.
Tavares fled to Graham, a rural town south of Tacoma in Washington. He shot to death Brian and Beverly Mauck, his neighbors, in what authorities said was a dispute over a $50 debt. Tavares pleaded guilty in their deaths and is serving a life sentence in Washington.
Tavares is due back in court in Massachusetts Oct. 16.