Liam Whoriskey, of Glenabbey Gardens, appeared at Derry Crown Court sitting in Belfast where he was formally arraigned on four charges over the toddler’s death.
The 24-year-old defendant pleaded not guilty to murdering three-year-old Kayden McLaughlin-McGuinness on a date between September 15 and September 18, 2017.
He also denied causing the death of a child by an unlawful act between the same dates.
Whoriskey further pleaded not guilty to causing cruelty to a child under 16 on August 15, 2017, and a similar charge on a date between September 6 and September 16, 2017
The defendant was remanded back into custody to Magbhaberry prison ahead of the start of his trial in May this year which is expected to last a number of weeks.
A previous hearing at Derry Magistrates’ Court in June last year heard a detective tell a district judge that Kayden had sustained 13 blows to the head in what the officer described as a “blunt force attack”.
The court heard Kayden would have survived for only 30 minutes after suffering the fatal blow.
A post mortem examination also revealed the toddler had sustained a rib fracture, between six and 10 days before his death.