When most people hear the names David and Louise Turpin, they remember the horrific 2018 case where their 13 children were found starved and chained to their beds in a home in the United States.
Dubbed “The House of Horrors”, the Turpin parents were accused of imprisoning and torturing their 13 children inside their California home for years. It wasn’t until their then-17-year-old daughter escaped and called police, telling them her siblings, who ranged in ages from two to 29, were being held captive in their home. Media outlets at the time reported the girl looked smaller than her age and mistakenly believed she was just 10-years-old.
Police swarmed the home and allegedly discovered the 13 kids shackled to a bed, dirty and appearing malnourished. Just over a year on from the dreadful discovery, David and Louise have fronted a Californian court and pleaded guilty to 14 counts.
Both David and Louise each pled guilty to one count of torture, four counts of false imprisonment, six counts of cruelty to an adult dependent, and three counts of wilful child cruelty, according to a statement released by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
“The plea agreement ensures that the Turpins each admitted to at least one crime for each of the 12 victims contained in the charges filed after the preliminary hearing,” the statement read. “There were no counts charged pertaining to the youngest child.”
The Turpins are scheduled to be sentenced on April 19 and as part of the plea agreement, both will be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Because of California law, both could be eligible for elderly parole in 25 years.
“We needed to determine whether proceeding to trial was worth having the victims testify in this case that has received worldwide media attention,” DA Mike Hestrin said in a statement. “We decided that the victims have endured enough torture and abuse.
“I personally met with the victims and, rest assured, they all are relieved to know this case has been resolved. The defendants in this case essentially accepted the maximum punishment under current California law.”
The Turpins committed their crimes from 2010 until their daughter escaped last year. Meanwhile, attorney for seven of the Turpin children Jack Osborn gave an update on the health of his clients last month.
Appearing on Today in the United States, Osborn explained the children didn’t really understand the magnitude of the situation, and aren’t bitter about what happened to them.
He said while their living conditions were utterly shocking, to them it was normal, so adjusting to their new life has been somewhat of a difficult transition.
“For really the first time they’re able to make their own decisions, and decide what they’re going to eat. They decide where they’re going to go, what they’re going to study,” Osborn told the show’s hosts. “They want people to know that they are survivors. They want to be independent now.”