Mary Yoder pleads to killing 4-year-old son

Mary Yoder (La Porte County Jail) and Judah Morgan (WXIN screenshot)

A 27-year-old mother in Indiana will likely spend several decades behind bars for her role in torturing and killing her 4-year-old son, who was starved, beaten, bound with duct tape, and kept in a dark basement before he died last year.

Mary Yoder pleaded guilty Friday to one count of neglect resulting in the death of a dependent and one count of domestic battery to a child, both felonies, in the brutal death of young Judah Morgan, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.

Yoder admitted to abusing Judah and at least one of her other children, but she also failed to intervene or contact authorities when her husband, 30-year-old Alan Morgan, regularly subjected the child to torturous punishments. Morgan was sentenced to 70 years in prison in December 2022 after pleading to multiple felonies, including murder, in Judah’s death.

In exchange for Yoder pleading guilty, prosecutors dropped additional charges of neglect of a dependent, one of which involved cruel confinement. She had been scheduled to go to trial on Sept. 25.

As part of Yoder’s plea agreement, she admitted that she was aware of the abuse Judah was being subjected to and that the abuse ultimately caused his death, according to a report from the Times of Northwest Indiana.

As Law&Crime previously reported, authorities responding to a 911 call at Yoder and Morgan’s rural home at about 3 a.m. on Oct. 11, 2021, discovered Judah’s bruised and bloodied naked body wrapped in a blanket inside a bedroom. Yoder placed the call and told the dispatcher that Morgan had gotten angry and hurt Judah.

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