BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

A Bethlehem man serving time for killing his girlfriend and dismembering her body has been denied a request for a trial.

Just before his trial was set to start in October 2012, William Ward pleaded guilty but mentally ill for the murder of Trisha Sadler, 29, in June 2011.

Ward, 48, admitted in court to slitting Sadler's throat before dismembering her body and stuffing it into garbage bags inside their bedroom.

He was sentenced to life in prison but then tried to withdraw his guilty plea in August 2013.

Ward said he pleaded guilty because his lawyer said that was his only option.