The Perris, California couple who admitted torturing and abusing most of their 13 children in their Southern California home were sentenced in a Riverside County Courtroom Friday to life with the possibility of parole.
David Turpin 57, and Louise Turpin, 50, pleaded guilty to 14 felony charges back in February nearly one year after their 17-year-old daughter made a daring escape and called 911 using a deactivated cell phone.
During the sentencing hearing in a Riverside County courtroom on Friday, several of the Turpin children spoke up at their parents' sentencing.
"I'm taking my life back," one of the Turpin's daughters said in court. "I'm a fighter. I'm strong and I'm shooting through life like a rocket."
"I'm in college now and living independently," she said. "I love hanging out with my friends and life is great. I believe everything happens for a reason. Life may have been bad, but it made me strong. I fought to become the person I am."
One of the Turpins' sons also stood up and spoke in court on Friday, "I cannot describe in words what we went through growing up. Sometimes I still have nightmares of things that had happened, such as my siblings being chained up or getting beaten. But that is the past and this is now."
"I love my parents and have forgiven them for a lot of the things that they did to us," he said. "I have learned so much and become very independent."
Since police found him and his siblings at the Perris home last year, the son said he had learned how to ride a bike and now rides it everywhere he goes.
"I live in an apartment and go to a nearby college," the son said in court. "I am getting a bachelor's degree in software engineering, and after I get my bachelor's degree I'm going to get a job as a software engineer and go to school part-time to get my master's degree."
The son also read a statement from one of his sisters.
"I love both of my parents so much. Although it may not have been the best way of raising us, I'm glad that they did, because it made me the person I am today. I just want to thank them for teaching me about God and faith. I hope they never lose their faith."
David and Louise Turpin were arrested in January 2018 after their 17-year-old daughter escaped their home and called 911 to describe the deplorable conditions she and her siblings lived in.
“My parents are abusive. They abuse and my two little sisters right now are chained up,” she said in the call, according to a recording released on Thursday. "My two little sisters right now are chained up right now... they're chained up to their bed."
When sheriff's deputies arrived at the home in Perris, California, they found some of her siblings - who ranged in age between 2 and 29 - shackled to beds. The children were emaciated and filthy with the home described as "dark and foul-smelling."
"I can’t breathe because of how dirty the house is," the girl told the 911 dispatcher. "We don’t take baths. I don’t know if we need to go to the doctor."
The teenager had trouble remembering her own address, explaining to the dispatcher that she rarely left the house. The daughter later told authorities that she had been choked and sexually abused by her father.
The toddler, who was 2 at the time, did not appear to be starved or mistreated, deputies said.
Photo: Riverside County