The California “house of horrors” parents who abused and tortured 12 of their 13 children were sentenced to life in prison Friday with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
Some of the children of the couple spoke in a packed courtroom ahead of their parents’ sentencing. Judge Bernard Schwartz said the children were not allowed to be filmed or photographed by assembled members of the media at the Hall of Justice in Riverside.
“Sometimes, I still have nightmares of things that have happened, like my siblings getting chained up or beaten,” said one of the Turpins’ sons in an impact statement he read to the courtroom.
Another one of the Turpins’ children, identified as Jane Doe No. 4, also read a statement ahead of the sentencing. Of the living conditions, she said, “Life may have been bad, but it made me strong.”
“My parents took my whole life from me but now I’m taking my whole life back,” she said.
She said she is in college now and doing well.
“I am a fighter, I’m strong and I’m shooting through life like a rocket ,” Jane Doe No. 4 said.
Some of the other children said they still love their parents. One child asked for a lighter sentence.
“I think 25 years is too long,” a statement from the child read. “I believe our parents did their best to raise all 13 of us.”
David Turpin and Louise Turpin had pleaded guilty in Riverside County Superior Court in February to torture and other abuse and neglect so severe it stunted their children’s growth, led to muscle wasting and left two girls unable to bear children. The minimum sentence they faced was 25 years to life.
The Turpins’ 17-year-old daughter was able to escape the filthy home in a Perris, about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles, in January 2018. She jumped out of a window and used a cell phone to alert authorities to the family’s horrid living conditions.
“I’m sorry if I’ve done anything to cause them harm,” an emotional David Turpin said in a written statement read partly by his attorney.
“I hope and pray my children can stay close to each other since their mother and father can’t be there for them,” he said.
“I am so proud of each and every one of my children,” he continued. “I miss all of our children and I will be praying for them”
Louise Turpin also had a statement that she read to the court.
“We want the best for them and their happiness is important to me,” she said of her children.
“I believe God has a special plan for each of them and I wish I could tell them I’m sorry. I want them to know how special they are and how proud I am of them,” she said.
Before delivering his sentence, Schwartz called the Turpin’s treatment of their children “selfish, cruel and inhumane.”
“You have severed the ability to interact and raise your children (that) you have created and brought into this world,” he told the parents.
David Turpin, 57, had been an engineer for Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Louise Turpin, 50, was listed as a housewife in a 2011 bankruptcy filing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.