Parents get life sentences
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A California couple who for years starved a dozen of their children and kept some shackled to beds were sentenced Friday to life in prison.
The conditions inside David and Louise Turpin’s home in suburban Los Angeles came to light only after one of their daughters fled and pleaded for help to a 911 operator. The parents pleaded guilty in February to neglect and abuse.
The sentencing was preceded by the first public statements from some of the children, who alternately spoke of love for their parents and of what they had suffered, as the couple wiped away tears. None of the children was publicly identified.
One of the adult children walked into court already in tears, holding hands with a prosecutor.
“Life may have been bad, but it made me strong. I fought to become the person that I am. I saw my dad change my mom. They almost changed me, but I realized what was happening. … I’m a fighter. I’m strong and I’m shooting through life like a rocket,” a daughter said.
The Turpins will be eligible for parole after 25 years.
“I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to hurt my children. I love my children so much,” Louise Turpin said.
One of the children asked for a lighter sentence for the parents because “they believed everything they did was to protect us.”