A couple has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 25 years after they have been found guilty of neglecting, mentally abusing, and physically torturing their 13 children for years.
57-year-old David Turpin and 50-year-old Louise were seen weeping as two of their abused children told the court of the abuse their parents put them through.
Following the emotional impact statements, both parents pleaded guilty to abusing and neglecting 12 of their 13 children.
“My parents took my whole life from me but now I’m taking my life back,” 30-year-old Jennifer said while cowering in fear. She and her brother, 27-year-old Joshua, managed to break free of the home from hell for the first time ever in January 2018.
“I saw my dad change my mom. They almost changed me, but I realized what was happening,” she added.
“I believe everything happens for a reason. Life may have been bad, but it made me strong. I fought to become the person I am. I’m a fighter, I’m strong and I’m shooting through life like a rocket.”
Joshua, who admittedly still has nightmares about getting beaten, chained up, and locked in cages, added:
“That is the past and this is now. I love my parents and have forgiven them for a lot of the things that they did to us. I have learned so much and become very independent.”
One of the other children, Joy, pleaded with the judge to give her parents a lighter sentence because she believes that “they believed everything they did was to protect us.”
“I want the court to know that our parents love each other and love each of their children,” Joy said in a statement.
“They didn’t know what else to do. I believe our parents feared if they asked for help they would lose their children.
“Our parents didn’t know we were malnourished. They thought we all got the gene from our mother because she was so small. I remember mother saying ‘God has blessed us with healthy children.’”
The abuse first came to light when one of the children managed to escape their home through a window and call the police.
Speaking of their ruthless discipline techniques, 57-year-old David said:
“I thank god for all of my children. Each one of them is a blessing from God. My homeschooling discipline had good intentions. I never meant any harm to come to my children.
“I hope and pray that my children can look out for each other since their mother and father cannot be there with them. I miss all my children and will be praying for them… I long for the opportunity to have contact with them again.”
His wife, Louise, added:
“I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to my children. I love my children so much, I’m blessed to be the mother of each one of them. Their happiness is very important to me.
“I want them to know mom and dad are going to be okay. I believe God has a special plan for each of them… I love them more than they could ever imagine.”
In sentencing the abusive parents to life in prison with the possibility of parole, Judge Keith Schwartz said:
“Children are indeed a gift. They’re a gift to their parents, to their family, to their friends, and they’re a gift to society. They’re a gift to their parents in the sense that a parent should be joyful of firsts in their child’s life. The first day of school, first job, marriage. All of those things should be enjoyed by the parent and child alike.
“But they’re also a gift to society because you don’t know what a child is going to do when they’ve finished their schooling and seek their occupation. Maybe they’ll become a scientist and discover a cure for some disease. Maybe they’ll become a doctor or first responder and save someone’s life.
“Maybe they’ll enter the military and protect our country. Or maybe they’ll just otherwise become a good citizen who makes the world a better place.
“The selfish, cruel and inhumane treatment of your children has deprived them, your family, friends, society and especially both of you of those gifts. Their lives have been permanently altered in their ability to learn and thrive.
“It delayed their mental, physical and emotional development. To the extent that they do thrive, and we’ve learnt today that a couple of them are, it will be not because of you both but in spite of you both.
“You have severed the ability to interact and raise your children, that you created and arrived at this world. The only reason that your punishment is less than the maximum time, in my opinion, is you accepted responsibility at an early stage in the proceedings and spared your children the humiliation and the harm [of a trial].
“Any punishment that is given to you today will pale in comparison with the fact that you will not have an opportunity to spend your years as a normal parent would.”
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