Lonzo Guthrie, of Austell, Georgia, was in Worcester Superior Court for just a few minutes to enter his plea before being sent back to jail.
"Absolutely he denies it," defense lawyer John Roemer told The Telegram & Gazette outside court.
Guthrie killed Eileen Ferro, 21, in February 1974, the day after delivering furniture to her Shrewsbury home, prosecutors said. Ferro, a dental hygienist, was found by her husband.
Living in Worcester at the time, Guthrie was questioned but not charged.
He was recently linked to the slaying when evidence from the scene matched a DNA sample he submitted because of a California rape conviction.
Roemer questioned the DNA evidence. He said he understood that blood was found in Ferro's home, but he said his client's job carrying furniture would cause bumps, scrapes and other injuries that could leave blood behind.
Authorities in Georgia said in reports they received on the case that there was also DNA retrieved from the victim's fingernails.
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