The children in the California “House of Horrors” case would likely testify against their parents should the case go to trial next year, the Press-Enterprise reports.
A judge on Friday scheduled a trial in the matter to begin on September 3, 2019.
Defendants David and Louise Turpin are accused of abusing 12 of their 13 kids, inflicting physical and cognitive injuries to the seven adults and six minors. Authorities allege the Turpins neglected, shackled and starved the children, failed to provide them adequate education, and largely hid them from public view by sleeping during the day and being awake at night.
All told, the Turpins have been charged with 88 felonies, including child cruelty, torture and false imprisonment. David Turpin separately is facing eight charges of perjury related to documents he filed with the state attesting that he was homeschooling the children.
Police arrested the couple in January after one of the children – a 17-year-old daughter – escaped the home and called 911 on a cellphone.
Deputy Public Defender David J. Macher, who represents David Turpin, said he will request to move the trial because it has received so much publicity.
“We would like to have people who are fair and impartial,” Macher said. “That’s what we are entitled to.”
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin has indicated previously that he would challenge any motions to change the venue of the trial.
A social worker speaking for the minor children asked Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard J. Schwartz to schedule the trial as soon as possible, but Schwartz said the case likely could not be heard any sooner because of all the evidence in the case.
The case could still be resolved through plea agreements, but if a trial does happen, “most, if not all” of the minor children will testify against their parents, Schwartz said.
David and Louise Turpin have pleaded not guilty and are being held in jail on $12 million bail.
[Feature Photo: Turpin Family/Facebook]