Yovahnis Roque, 26, was discovered naked and soaked in blood after his mum alerted the cops.
Officers described what they saw as the crime scene of “nightmares”, with the lifeless tot found inside a wardrobe.
Roque, from Orange, Texas, told a judge the “government made me do it,” according to US media.
“I did not kill my daughter,” Roque said in court.
“This has affected a lot of the officers. You never forget this. This is what you have nightmares over”
Detective Robert Enmon
“I’m moving without control. I’m moving without control. Please listen to me.”
If convicted, Roque would face the death penalty or life in prison.
Detective Robert Enmon said: “I’ve been doing this for 29 years and I’ll be honest with you, this is the worst case I’ve ever seen.
“This has affected a lot of the officers. You never forget this. This is what you have nightmares over.”
Roque’s friend Abner Santiago, told US media that he had received bizarre messages from the accused before his daughter’s death.
Santiago said Roque had told him to start digging because there was going to be “an all-out war.”
“He was messaging me weird coded messages about the world ending,” he added.
“He wasn’t like this before when I knew him back in Miami.”
Roque’s mum was seeking a mental health warrant for him at the time of the killing, US media reported.
Roque is being held on $2 million (£1.5 million) bond.