Published: Oct 21, 2010 11:27 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 21, 2010 8:13 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - A man accused of murdering his girlfriend turned down a plea deal from prosecutors.

Matthew Gullet made an appearance in court Thursday with his lawyer just ahead of the trial next month. He's accused of strangling his girlfriend Shannon Sweet in March of last year. Deputies say he left her body in a shower for almost a week.

Neighbors noticed a strong odor and called deputies. Prosecutors told a judge they did not believe it would go to trial but Gullet's last second refusal changed that.

Deputies say Gullet stole his girlfriends car, got in an accident while driving drunk, and fled the state.

He's set to start trial November 2.