WASHINGTON COUNTY – A man charged in the death of a three-year-old Bartlesville boy last December pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Joshua Benton, 23, is charged in the death of his girlfriend's son, three-year-old Christian Norris.

According to an affidavit, Benton admitted to "using force" on Christian the day before the boy died in December 2010.

The State Medical Examiner's office said Christian died from complications from a lower back fracture due to blunt force trauma.

Benton, a former detention officer at the Washington County jail, was ordered to stand trial last month.  He is due back in court on August 3, 2011 for a disposition hearing.