A man is being held without bail after being accused of murdering a man in Brockton, Massachusetts, on Tuesday morning.
The Plymouth District Attorney's Office said Michael Pircio was arraigned in Brockton District Court on a murder charge in connection with the death of William James Porter, 29.
Police say Pircio hit Porter in the head with a shovel during a fight inside Porter's apartment on Menlo Street.
Another person called 911, and Porter was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Mary Hill, Pircio's girlfriend, says he should not be charged because he was defending her. Hill said she called her boyfriend after Porter, their neighbor, allegedly started assaulting her.
"He did this defending me when I couldn't, when I was helpless," Hill said.
In court on Tuesday, prosecutors said when Pirco came home and saw Porter trying to kiss Hill, he grabbed a shovel.
"He saw him on top of me attacking me and he hit him with an object," Hill said. "I don't know what the object was. Was it a shovel? I have no idea. I wasn't looking at the shovel."
Prosecutors say Porter was struck more than once.
"The defendant says he believed Mr. Porter was reaching into his pocket for something so he struck him again in the head with the shovel," said the court prosecutor.
Pircio's attorney agreed to have him held until his next court hearing.
Authorities say their investigation is ongoing.
"He didn't mean to do what he did, he is not like that at all," Hill said.