An attorney representing the Perris, California, couple accused of torturing their 13 children is reportedly setting the stage to have the high-profile trial moved out of Riverside County.
According to The Desert Sun, Deputy Public Defender David Macher filed a motion ahead of Wednesday’s hearing expressing concern that the “extraordinary” media coverage will make it difficult to find an impartial jury.
“The frequent appearance of photographs or video imagines of the Turpins in the media may taint potential jurors, prejudice them against the Turpins and make it necessary to explore a possible motion for a change of venue,” the defense attorney wrote in the court motion.
Though Macher hasn’t officially asked for a change in venue, KESQ reported he raised the issue in an “Opposition to Media Request.” In the filing, Macher asked a judge to prohibit the Turpins’ image from frequently appearing in the media. If the request isn’t granted, Macher warned that a motion for a change in venue might follow.
A court is also expected to consider prosecutors’ request for a protective order which will prohibit David, 56, and Louise, 49, from contacting their children. The defense is unlikely to contest the order, The Desert Sun also reported.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Riverside County police arrested the couple last week after their 17-year-old daughter reportedly escaped their Perris, California, home through a window and called police using a deactivated cell phone.
Authorities have accused the parents of withholding food, limiting the children’s use of the bathroom, and allowing them to only shower once a year. They also said the Turpin children have suffered physical and cognitive impairments due to the years of neglect.
David and Louise have pleaded not guilty to multiple charges, including torture, abuse of a dependent adult, child abuse, and false imprisonment. They are both jailed on $12 million bail.
[Featured Image: David and Louise Turpin/Riverside Police]