LaPorte County man receives 70-year sentence for death of 4-year-old son

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 7:53 AM EST
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LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - A LaPorte County father who pleaded guilty to the 2021 murder of his 4-year-old son in September was sentenced on Tuesday to 70 years in prison.

Alan Morgan, 29, previously took a plea deal to remove life without the possibility of parole as a possible sentence for his role in the death of Judah Morgan. As part of the plea deal, two other charges were dropped. Those charges include neglect of a dependent and animal cruelty.

While Alan was sentenced to 70 years total, he could get out of prison by the time he is 80-years-old due to sentencing requirements, and good time credit.

Nonetheless, the sentence offers a little closure for Judah’s loved ones who were his caregivers for most of his life.

“I’m extremely pleased in his decision,” said Jenna Hullett, Judah’s cousin and former caregiver. “I’m glad that he didn’t get the lesser, which I was thinking he was going to get 45 (years) max. So, I’m very pleased with, with the judges.”

“It gives me a little bit of closure,” said Madison Hullett, another cousin of Judah. “This is all we can settle for. And we’re happy. Yep. We’re thankful. We’re very thankful. One down, one to go. Yep. Down to one to go.”

Madison said she considered Judah her little brother because he lived with the Hullett family for most of his life until the Department of Child Services ordered her mom to return Judah back to his biological parents for a home trial visit six months before he was killed.

Alan Morgan
Alan Morgan(La Porte County Sheriff's Office)

According to the charging documents, Judah would be sent to the basement for not being potty-trained, where he would then be neglected and abused for days at a time.

At Tuesday’s sentencing, the forensic pathologist who did Judah’s autopsy says this was one of the worst cases of blunt force trauma to a child he’s seen in his almost 30 year career.

The lead investigator from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department testified about surveillance camera footage from Alan’s phone that captured extensive physical abuse and strangulation of Judah in the last five days of his life.

“One of the most tragic cases that I’ve had personally,” said Det. Jacob Koch. “I feel for the family and everything they’ve gone through this last year, and I’m glad that justice was served today.”

Judah Morgan
Judah Morgan(Jenna Hullett)

Judah’s mother, Mary Yoder, is also charged with two felony counts of neglecting a dependent. She has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Dec. 9. Her trial is set to begin one month later on Jan. 9.

Mary Yoder
Mary Yoder(LaPorte County Jail)

Judah’s tragic death did inspire changes. He now has his name on a law.

“Judah’s Law” centers around how unlicensed caregivers like Jenna Hullett could intervene as a party in court in the case of children needing services. It also helps terminate dangerous and abusive parent-child relationships.

Judah’s law has been in effect since July 1.