JANESVILLE

A Janesville man accused of killing a 15-month-old girl March 7 pleaded not guilty in Rock County Court on Wednesday.

Steven M. Horan, 30, of 526 Eisenhower Ave., lived at that residence with his girlfriend and her child, Jaylee Conaway. He was caring for the child when she suffered the fatal injuries, according to the criminal complaint.

Horan was alone with Jaylee at the time of the incident. The mother came home to find Jaylee in a lifeless state, according to the complaint.

Police have said Jaylee was beaten. An official cause of death has not been made public. Jaylee was pronounced dead in a Rockford, Illinois, hospital, so the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office is handling that aspect of the case.

The case itself was not discussed at Wednesday’s brief hearing.

The case is assigned to Judge Karl Hanson, but Horan’s attorney has filed for a substitute judge, who has not yet been appointed, so further hearings have yet to be scheduled.

The hearing was held with each party appearing using the Zoom videoconferencing app, as are many court hearings across the state, to minimize chances of coronavirus transmission.