A Janesville man accused of beating and killing a baby March 7 was bound over for trial in Rock County Court on Friday.
Steven M. Horan, 30, of 526 Eisenhower Ave., sat quietly during the hearing in his jail orange with hands and feet shackled.
He is charged with first-degree reckless homicide, which carries a maximum term of 60 years in the prison system.
Janesville police Detective Dennis LeCaptain was the only witness called Friday. He described Horan as distraught when police arrived that night to find 15-month-old Jaylee Conaway on the living room floor and her mother, Jennifer Streuly, extremely upset, crying at times and having trouble talking.
Streuly told police she came home to find Horan pacing with Jaylee in his arms, and she could tell something was wrong, LeCaptain said. Jaylee was lifeless, and Horan had been alone with Jaylee.
Defense attorney Walt Isaacson objected to the bind-over, saying there is no official cause of death yet and that no evidence was presented about when the fatal injury was inflicted.
Jaylee died in a Rockford, Illinois, hospital, so a coroner’s inquest will be held in Winnebago County before the legal cause of death is established, Assistant District Attorney Rich Sullivan said.
LeCaptain testified the pathologist from the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office had been reluctant to say what the cause of death might be before additional, post-autopsy tests, but the doctor said he expected the cause would be blunt-force trauma to the head.
Sullivan noted that more information will be known later, and the law required Court Commissioner Stephen Meyer to side with the prosecution on questions of fact. Meyer set an arraignment for Friday, March 27.