David and Louise Turpin plead guilty to torture, abuse and false imprisonment after children found in California house of horrors and faced life in prison on torture, abuse charges
Get plea deal that carries guaranteed sentence of 25 years to life in prison for either couple
‘Horror house’ couple Louise and David Turpin, the ‘House of Horrors’ parents initially pled NOT GUILTY to 75 counts of child abuse of their 13 children
Louise and David ultimately accepted convictions on a single count of torture, six counts of dependent adult abuse, three counts of child endangerment and four counts of false imprisonment.
Louise Turpin, 50, and David Turpin, 57, have been accused of forcing the children to stay awake until 4am or 5am every night in squalid home then slept all day
Court heard testimony of the starved siblings were ‘forced to watch [their parents] eat pies but were seldom fed themselves and showered once a year’
Children were ‘tied to their beds with chains and shackles for months at a time and none ever saw a dentist’
‘only thing they were allowed to do’ was keep journals, hundreds of which were recovered on Sunday
The daughter, then 17, who raised the alarm and her siblings’ had the escape plan in the works for two years before they were rescued earlier this week
Bail was set at $13million each – $1million for every child they are accused of torturing
If convicted on all counts, they face a minimum of 94 years in jail each, prosecutors are seeking life sentences
David and Louise Turpin, pictured here with their 13 children in 2015, pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts each Friday for keeping their children locked up in their Perris, Calif. home under filthy conditions. The children were discovered on Jan. 15, 2018.
David and Louise Turpin, the California parents accused of starving, shackling and torturing all but one of their 13 kids, pled guilty to 14 felony counts in the “house of horrors” case Friday.
Louise, 50, wiped tears from her eyes and stared at her lap after entering her first of several guilty pleas at a courthouse in Riverside.
She and David ultimately accepted convictions on a single count of torture, six counts of dependent adult abuse, three counts of child endangerment and four counts of false imprisonment. Related:
Before accepting their pleas, a judge asked if they understood the deal carried guaranteed sentences of 25 years to life in prison. The couple said they understood.
David and Louise Turpin appear at their hearing in Riverside, Calif., on Friday.
The Turpins were arrested in January 2018 and initially pled not guilty to more than 50 charges involving all of their kids, then aged 2 to 29.
David Turpin, 57, also was charged with perjury and one count of a lewd act on a child under the age of 14. Those charges — and the others not covered by the deal — are expected to be dismissed at a sentencing hearing set for April 19.
David and Louise Turpin appear at their hearing in Riverside, Calif., on Friday
Investigators testified in June that the children said they were starved, chained to beds, locked in cages, choked, tossed down stairs, beaten with switches and neglected to the point they had no formal schooling and bathed only about once a year.
“This is among the worst, most aggravated child abuse cases that I have ever seen or been involved in in my career,” Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said after the hearing.
Hestrin said the deal was reached in part to spare the couple’s kids the spectacle of a trial and the possibility some might be called to the witness stand.
Hestrin said he met with the kids as a group prior to Friday, including the youngest child, a 3-year-old girl.
House of Horror couple, David and Louise Turpin are both seen smiling during their court hearing as prosecutors filed eight new charges of perjury against David Turpin in May, 2018
When authorities rescued the couple’s then 11-year-old daughter on Jan. 14, 2018, she was suffering from the muscle-wasting syndrome cachexia and had been diagnosed with “psychosocial dwarfism,” a growth disorder caused by extreme emotional deprivation, an investigator with the Riverside County District Attorney previously testified. Louise showed little emotion during the preliminary hearing last year but appeared to cry when prosecutors played the 911 call that her 17-year-old daughter placed after escaping out a window of the family’s house in Perris, Calif.
The teen’s voice sounded like that of a little girl.
“OK, I live in a family of 15 people and my parents are abusive. They abuse us, and my two little sisters right now are chained up,” the girl told the dispatcher. “Sometimes I wake up and I can’t breathe because of how dirty the house is. We never take baths,” she said. “I don’t know if we need to go to the doctors.”
The daughter told the dispatcher she didn’t know what “medication” meant. She had trouble reading her address from a piece of mail she swiped from the house.
“I don’t go out much, so I don’t know anything about the streets or anything,” she apologized to the operator.
Asked when she last took a bath, the teen said she wasn’t sure.
“Uh, I don’t know, almost a year ago,” she said. “Sometimes I feel so dirty, I wash my face and I wash my hair …I wash it in the sink.”
The daughter said she and her siblings didn’t attend regular school.
“Our mother tells people we’re private schooled, but we don’t really do school. I haven’t finished first grade, and I’m 17,” she said.
The Turpin family home in Perris, California which was filthy and smelled like death according to rescuers
A charge involving the couple’s youngest child was previously dropped by the judge after he found the toddler appeared to be well-fed.
Hestrin said Friday that after the couple’s sentencing in April, the Turpin kids will be able to obtain ongoing, individual protective orders barring the parents from contacting them, if they choose.