California couple sentenced to life for shackling, abusing their 12 children

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California couple sentenced to life for shackling, abusing their 12 children

by - 2 min read

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A California couple who pleaded guilty to years of torture and abuse of 12 of their 13 children have been sentenced to life in prison.

David and Louise Turpin were sentenced Friday during an emotional hearing that saw some of the children speak publicly about the abuse for the first time.

The sentencing came just over a year after the Turpins’ 17-year-old daughter jumped out of a window of the family’s squalid home and called 911. She reported that some of her siblings were chained to their beds and that she hadn’t bathed in months.

Louise Turpin wept as she apologized for hurting her children, while her husband struggled to give a short statement.

His lawyer read part of a statement because he was too upset. “My homeschooling and discipline had good intentions,” he said. “I’m sorry if I’ve done anything to cause them harm.”

Louise Turpin spoke for herself, saying, “I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to hurt my children. I love my children so much. … I only want the best for them.”

Several Turpin children gave emotional statements at their parents’ sentencing Friday.

One of their daughters, weeping, said in court that “My parents took my whole life from me but now I’m taking my life back.”

Some of the other children said they still love their parents. One asked for a lighter sentence because “they believed everything they did was to protect us.”

It’s the first time the children have spoken publicly since the arrest of their parents. 

David Turpin, right, and wife, Louise, left, listen to the judge, along with attorney Allison Lowe, during a courtroom hearing, Feb. 22, in Riverside, Calif. Their case was dubbed a ‘house of horrors.’ (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

This story originally appeared on CBC

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