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A 4-Year-Old Indiana Boy Had Problems Potty Training. He Was Beat and Tortured to Death, and His Parents Are Now in Prison.

4-Year-Old Indiana Boy Killed Over Potty Training, Mom Sentenced
Source: La Porte County Sheriff's Office; Lakeview Funeral Home & Crematory

Mary Yoder will spend 42 years behind bars in connection with the attacks on her two sons.

Jan. 11 2024, Published 2:04 p.m. ET

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A 4-year-old Indiana boy was duct-taped, tortured and beaten to death over potty training and now his mother will spend over 40 years in prison in connection with his death and the abuse of his brother, according to authorities.

On Oct. 11, 2021, deputies responded to a home near Kingsford Heights regarding a report of an unconscious child, later identified as Judah Morgan, according to the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office.

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The child’s mother, 28-year-old Mary Yoder, had called 911 and said the child’s father, 30-year-old Alan Morgan, lost his temper and hurt the boy.

Once at the home, authorities found Judah in a bedroom “naked and covered in a blanket with bruises all over his body and on his face and head,” WRTV reported.

Judah was pronounced dead at the scene and an autopsy determined he died as a result of a homicide, officials said. Court records show he was duct-taped in a basement and ultimately starved.

When talking with police, Yoder said Judah was sent to the basement about three times a week as punishment “for not being potty-trained like his other three siblings in the house,” WRTV reported.

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In August 2023, Yoder pleaded guilty to felony neglect of a dependent in connection with the death of her son, authorities said. She also pleaded guilty to a separate felony domestic battery charge for beating her youngest child when he was 23 months old.

Prosecutors said Yoder did nothing to stop the ongoing torture and abuse Judah received by his father, who pleaded guilty to charges, including murder and battery in the boy's death, and was sentenced to 70 years in prison on Nov. 29, 2023.

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A judge recently sentenced Yoder to 42 years in prison for the attacks on her children — 37 years for the neglect charge on Judah and 5 years for the battery charge on her other son, officials said.

According to WRTV, Judah spent the first four years of his life with foster parents until the Indiana Department of Child Services gave custody back to his parents.

During Yoder’s sentencing hearing, Jenna Hullett, the boy’s former foster mother, said, “Ultimately, there is no real justice for Judah, but we pray for some sense of it. The only solace we have is knowing that Judah is no longer suffering.”

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