David and Louise Turpin, the California couple arrested last year for the torture and abuse of 12 of their 13 children, were sentenced Friday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
In February, the Turpins pleaded guilty to 14 criminal counts, including torture and false imprisonment. The couple was arrested in January 2018 after their 17-year-old daughter, Jordan Turpin, escaped from the Perris home and called 911 using one of her brothers’ deactivated cellphones, according to ABC News.
Authorities had accused the parents of withholding food, limiting the children’s use of the bathroom, and allowing them to shower only once a year. The 12 Turpin children, who range in age from 2 to 29, have suffered physical and cognitive impairments following years of neglect.
The California couple were seen openly crying Friday as their adult children’s victim impact statements were read aloud in court. In them, some of the children asked for lighter sentences for their parents, while others asked the court to suspend a protective order so they could call or see their parents if they wished.
“My parents took my whole life from me but now I’m taking my life back,” one of the statements said.
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said some of the couple’s minor children also wrote letters to their parents but requested that those statements be read privately.
David attempted to read his statement to the court but broke down in tears before having his attorney read the letter.
“My homeschooling and discipline had good intentions,” he said after gaining composure. “I’m sorry if I’ve done anything to cause them harm.”
Louise also tearfully apologized before sentencing, claiming that she loved her children and wanted the “best for them.”
If released, David and Louise will be on parole indefinitely—meaning any violations would send them back to prison for the rest of their lives.
[Featured image: Louise and David Turpin/Riverside County Sheriff’s Office]