Craig Proctor's not guilty plea was greeted with distress from Ellia's grieving parents, who had to be escorted from the courtroom.
But the deceased's friends and other members of her family who had packed out the public gallery burst into applause when her dad shouted at Proctor, of Shepherds Close, as he appeared via video link from HM Prison Hull.
Prosecuting barrister Richard Pratt QC later told Judge Roger Dutton that Ellia's father wanted to express his 'deepest apologies' for his outburst, explaining that he had been 'overcome' with emotion by the moment.
Proctor, wearing a grey tracksuit, spoke only to confirm his name and enter his plea.
He is accused of killing 29-year-old Ellia on or about October 29.
The trial, which is expected to last for between three and four weeks, has been fixed at Chester Crown Court for July 3 next year.
Judge Dutton warned Proctor, who refused to come out of his cell for his first court hearing, that proceedings will continue in his absence if he does not wish to attend his trial.
Proctor is remanded in custody until then.