A defendant accused of killing a 1-year-old girl pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of murder, willful cruelty to a child and assault on a child resulting in death or great bodily harm.
Jared Ramirez, 24, faced the front of the courtroom during his arraignment in Kern County Superior Court and didn't once glance in the direction of the dozen or so people who attended and were apparently either family or friends. Bail was set at $2.02 million and a pre-preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 13.
An autopsy has determined Sophialynn Marie Taylor died Saturday of blunt force trauma and her death is a homicide, coroner's office officials said Tuesday. Ramirez is the live-in boyfriend of Amanda Marie Reese, the girl's mother.
Taylor was pronounced dead at 3:01 a.m. at Kern Valley Hospital after being taken from her residence in the 2500 block of Erskine Creek Road, authorities have said. Reese, 22, was also arrested but is no longer listed as being in custody.