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Indiana mother sentenced to 42 years for role in 4-year-old son's death

Mary Yoder will serve 42 years in IDOC
Judah, age 4 of LaPorte, died in October 2021 from blunt force trauma.  

His biological father is charged with killing Judah.
Posted at 10:52 AM, Jan 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-08 12:54:09-05

LAPORTE COUNTY — A northwest Indiana mother who failed to protect her child will spend the next four decades in state prison.

Mary Yoder, the mother of Judah Morgan, was sentenced Friday to 42 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.

She pleaded guilty in 2023 to Neglect of a Dependent and Domestic Battery stemming from the 2021 death of her 4-year-old-son.

Judah Morgan of LaPorte County was tortured, beaten and killed on October 11, 2021.

Judah's foster mother, Jenna Hullett, said she is somewhat satisfied with Yoder's sentence.

"I'm satisfied with the sentence but only because I know that amount of time is what the judge could legally give, but that needs to change," said Hullett. "I'm happy she will never be able to hurt another child."

Judah’s father, Alan Morgan, murdered Judah and was sentenced to 63 years in prison.

Six months before Judah’s death, DCS removed Judah from foster care and placed him with his biological parents despite concerns about abuse.

Police began their investigation on Oct. 9, 2021, when Yoder called 911 and said Morgan had lost his temper and hurt Judah.

Investigators later found Judah inside a bedroom, naked and covered in a blanket with bruises all over his body and on his face and head.

Court records state that Judah was duct-taped in a basement and was starved.

Yoder told investigators Judah was sent to the basement around three times a week as punishment for not being potty-trained like his other three siblings in the house.

The lights were purposely shut off as a "scare tactic", records allege.

According to records, Judah's mother said he was forced to stay in the basement naked with only a fuzzy blanket for days before being allowed back upstairs and that his father would duct tape his hands and feet and physically abuse him.

Records also state that the home where Judah died was described as having a "strong pungent odor of urine and rotting food" with clothing garbage, and animal fecal matter all over the house. It also said the refrigerator had a cord attached to it that prevented anyone from opening the door.

 

RELATED | 4-year-old killed after DCS gives custody back to birth parents remembered at vigil

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-800-5556.