LAPORTE, Ind. — A LaPorte County man who admitted to murdering his young son will spend 70 years in prison for the crime, a LaPorte County judge ruled on Tuesday.
Alan Morgan, 29, will serve at least 75% at that sentence. The judge also said he will be in his eighties before he is eligible for parole.
Although Morgan pleaded guilty — and may have gotten a lighter sentence because of it — the judge ruled the extent of abuse Judah suffered, and the reality that other children bore witness to it, necessitated a lengthy prison sentence.
Present in the courtroom for sentencing was Judah's foster family, who are blood relatives to Judah. He spent most of his young life with them before he was found beaten to death in October 2021.
Four months after Judah's birth in 2017, Judah's second cousin, Jenna Hullett discovered he had been placed in foster care, and reached out to the Department of Child Services to see if she could take care of him.
For years, Judah lived happily in the Hullett family's care. They were grief-stricken when a court mandated his return to the home of Alan Morgan in April 2021, and even more so in the years since Judah was killed.
Family victim impact statements, shared with the family's permission, reiterate the heartache Judah's murder wrought on their entire family.
"Judah was the baby brother I never knew I needed, the brightest light I have ever and will ever know. The day he was born, his life engulfed me," Madison Hullett, his older sister, said in a victim impact statement shared with the judge. "For all that he was, he should not be nothing now. He should not be just ash."
Madison also recalled the trauma her family endured at Judah's funeral, when her family was forced to see the pain inflicted on his young body.
"I never knew what a walk alone, down the darkest road of tragedy would feel like, until the day we heard he was murdered," Madison continued. "I will never unsee the lifeless body of a starved, bruised little boy I once called my Bubba."
Jenna Hullett advocated that Morgan, who is her first cousin, be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, or 66 years without parole.
"It haunts us to know the pain and fear he went through, and I am certain he wondered why his real mommy and daddy weren't there to save him," Jenna said in her victim impact statement. "It was made very clear we would have loved to keep Judah and would have joyfully taken him back if he was unwanted."
Hullett believed the sentence was fair, but now awaits the trial of Mary Yoder in January.
Judah's biological faces multiple charges in the case. Court documents recently revealed video surveillance footage taken inside the home showing her beating one of the children in the home weeks before Judah's death.