Sentencing Scheduled Today for Perris Parents Who Imprisoned, Tortured Kids
RIVERSIDE (CNS) - A Perris couple who imprisoned and tortured 12 of
their 13 children for years are both slated to be sentenced today to 25 years
to life in state prison.
David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Ann Turpin, 50, each pleaded guilty
in February to six counts of cruelty to a dependent adult, four counts of
false imprisonment, three counts of child abuse and one count of torture.
In exchange for their admissions, the Riverside County District
Attorney's Office dropped 11 counts of torture, seven counts of false
imprisonment and five counts of child abuse against the pair. Additionally,
prosecutors dropped eight counts of perjury and one count of lewd acts on a
minor against David Turpin, while a single count of assault resulting in great
bodily injury was stripped from the complaint against Louise Turpin.
``We needed to determine whether proceeding to trial was worth having
the victims testify in this case that has received worldwide media attention.
We decided that the victims have endured enough torture and abuse,'' District
Attorney Mike Hestrin said in announcing the joint plea deals on Feb. 22.
Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz is expected to certify the
negotiated pleas and impose the stipulated sentences. At least one of the elder
Turpin children is scheduled to address the court prior to sentencing.
The couple's 17-year-old daughter, Jordan, escaped the family's Muir
Woods Road residence on Jan. 14, 2018, and told a 911 dispatcher that her two
younger sisters were ``chained up to their beds,'' shackled so tightly their
bodies were bruised, according to testimony from the defendants' June 20-21
``They chain us up if we do things we're not supposed to,'' the girl
said in a conversation with a 911 dispatcher, played in court. ``Sometimes, my
sisters wake up and start crying (because of the pain).''
Jordan went on to describe how her mother and father denied her and
her siblings the opportunity to attend school.
``My mother says we're private schooled, but we really don't do
school,'' the girl said.
She characterized her mother as an authoritarian who ``doesn't like us.''
David Turpin, an aerospace engineer, had registered as the principal
of the purported home school program set up through the California Department
of Education. But prosecutors said the enterprise was bogus, and he lied on
forms filed with the state.
Along with the 911 recording, sheriff's Deputy Manuel Campos testified
regarding his Jan. 14 interview with the victim, recalling how Jordan's
hair was filthy and her skin was caked with dirt. He said that the girl
admitted ``being scared to death'' about fleeing her home, but felt desperate
to get out and leapt from an open window.
Campos said the teenager had been planning an escape for two years and
was ultimately able to procure a mobile phone discarded by her older
brother. She used it to snap pictures of her younger sisters chained to beds.
The lawman said that the victim told him her sisters had been shackled
because they were caught by Louise Turpin snatching candy from the kitchen -
- verboten under the house ``rules.''
According to the witness, the girl described a compulsory sleep
schedule of 20 hours a day and a middle-of-the-night meal -- combination
``lunch and dinner'' -- that consisted of peanut butter sandwiches, chips and
The girl's only exercise was pacing back and forth in the room she
shared with her two younger sisters, according to the deputy.
He said the filth and stench in the bedroom was so overwhelming that
the teen told him she often couldn't breathe and had to stick her head out the
window for relief.
Hestrin said the victims were allowed to shower only once a year.
The siblings were virtually imprisoned, according to testimony, and
the only time they were free to leave their assigned quarters was when both
parents were out of the house.
D.A.'s office Investigator Wade Walsvick testified that all but one of
the victims -- the youngest, a now-3-year-old girl -- were severely
Walsvick testified that when he spoke to the oldest son, then-26-year-
old Joshua Turpin, the victim revealed how he and his siblings were locked
inside cages if their parents became angry with them. There were alleged
beatings with paddles, ``hitting on the face, slapping, pushing and being
thrown across the room or to the ground,'' the witness said.
The children, whose ages range from 3 to 30, are in the care of county
Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services staff. Most of them
were hospitalized in January of last year for treatment, but they were later
placed in undisclosed residential facilities, according to county officials.