NEW ALBANY, Ind. — The husband of Rebecca Morgan Hoover, a former Kankakee resident, pleaded guilty Sept. 1 to beating her to death in their New Albany, Ind., home in August.
The plea came at Judson Hoover’s initial court hearing where he was to be charged in his wife’s Aug. 2 death.
The body of Rebecca Hoover was recovered on Aug. 31 from a 55-gallon drum in a storage unit in Louisville, Ky., where Judson Hoover had moved it from a storage unit in Indiana, according to police reports.
Rebecca Hoover is the daughter of Lorrie Outsen and stepdaughter of Ken Outsen. She attended St. Patrick’s Grade School, Kankakee Junior High School and Kankakee High School.
“This is surreal, traumatic. It is like watching a TV movie,” Ken Outsen told the Daily Journal on Wednesday.
Outsen said Rebecca had turned her life around after the birth of her three children.
“She was a super mom,” he said.
Judson, 50, and Rebecca, 38, had been married 11 or 12 years, Outsen said.
According to media reports citing police records, Judson killed Rebecca on Aug. 2 in the basement of their New Albany home.
Lorrie Outsen contacted New Albany police Aug. 5 and reported her disappearance, having not heard from her daughter.
Reports said Judson filed for divorce on Aug. 5. He was granted custody of the children when Rebecca Hoover did not show for a hearing on Aug. 21.
The break in the case came Aug. 27, when one of the couple’s children told a school counselor he saw his father beat his mother.
A search of the house found what was believed to be blood splatter in the basement.
In April, Judson Hoover was arrested and charged with domestic battery and strangulation. The next court date was Sept. 22.
“We all told her to get out of there before something bad was going to happen,” Ken Outsen said.
Now he and his ex-wife are working with Indiana children and family service officials who have custody of the children.
“They all need our help,” Ken Outsen said.
Judson Hoover said he decided to plead guilty so his child would not have to testify at trial. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 2.
The Outsens will be there.
“We’re here to speak for her and all the other thousands of domestic violence victims,” Ken Outsen said.