April 21, 2019 09:00 PM
Updated on April 21, 2019 9:00 PM
The couple that for years confined and tortured 12 of their 13 children in the "house of horror" in
California was sentenced this Friday to life in prison, in a hearing in which the testimonies were read.
David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 50, had pleaded guilty to 14 crimes, including torture, child abuse and kidnapping, and the sentence read by Judge Bernard J. Schwartz was already scheduled.
The novelty of Friday's hearing was the testimony of two of the Turpin's children, who addressed their parents for the first time since their arrest in January 2018. "My parents took away my whole life, but I'm recovering "said one of the daughters, identified as Jane Doe 4.
"Everything happens for a reason, and what could be very bad made me stronger." "I can not describe in words what we went through as we grew up," said another of the children, who identified himself as Joshua.
"Sometimes I have nightmares about the things we went through, about my brothers being chained, but that's the past and this is the present." "I love my parents and I forgive them for all the things they did to us," he continued.
"I never wanted to hurt them"
David Turpin, wearing a brown shirt and purple tie, and Louise, who wore black, cried as they listened to the testimonies loaded with religious references.
The couple was arrested in January 2018 after one of their daughters, then 17, managed to escape the "house of horror" located in Perris, southeast of Los Angeles, and call the police.
Both may request parole in 25 years. The parents were accused of torture, confinement and child abuse of 12 of their 13 biological children, who were beaten and strangled, as well as punishing them by chaining them to their beds, keeping them undernourished, allowing them to shower once a year and never taking them to the doctor or to a doctor. dentist.
"I'm sorry for everything I've done to my children, I love them very much," she said, holding back the tears in a statement before hearing her sentence. "I just want the best for them, their happiness is very important, I want them to know how special they are and how proud I am of them."
"I never wanted to hurt them," he said. "I pray that you stay together and take care of each other because Mom and Dad can not be there."
The 13 siblings, ages 3 to 30, are in the care of county and child protection services. Both Jane Doe 4 and Joshua said they were in college, that they lived in an apartment and could move independently, and that they enjoyed their new freedom and the friends they had made. The young man said he learned to ride a bike and studied program engineering. "I have learned to speak for me, to swim, to eat healthy, to manage money," he said.
Children are a gift
Judge Schwartz told the couple that their actions were "selfish, cruel and inhumane" and said they did not receive a worse sentence because they decided to admit guilt from the beginning, preventing their children from having to testify against them. "The children are a gift for parents, friends, are a gift to society, "said the judge.
One of the children's testimonies, identified as Joy and read by a lawyer, considered that a sentence of 25 years "was very long" and asked the judge to allow them to see their parents.
"I believe with all my heart that our parents tried to do their best to raise us 13, that they wanted to give us a good life," he said recalling his trips to Disneyland and the Grand Canyon. The judge maintained the order that forbids them to maintain contact.
The couple was arrested in 2018 after Jordan Turpin, then 17, escaped through a window and with a cell phone deactivated was able to call the emergency services, in an operation that took two years to plan. The police found children chained to their beds, and with very dirty hair and skin.