Perris torture case: David, Louise Turpin plead guilty to multiple charges, accept plea deal

RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- David and Louise Turpin, who are accused of starving, beating and inflicting other abuse on 12 of their 13 children at their Perris home, pleaded guilty to multiple charges in the case as part of a plea deal.

The two appeared in court on Friday and each pleaded guilty to 14 counts in connection to the abuse case -- including torture, false imprisonment, adult dependent abuse and child endangerment.

VIDEO: Outline of accusations against Turpin parents

Louise Turpin, 49, shed tears as she pleaded guilty while her husband, 56, was more stoic.

They accepted a plea deal, meaning they will not have to go to trial. Their children will not have to testify.

The two face 25 years to life in prison, and they will be eligible for a parole hearing after 25 years under California's elder parole law, due to the couple's age. Sentencing was scheduled for April 19.

Heading into Friday's court appearance, the two were facing more than three dozen felony charges against them each. They both faced charges of torture, perjury, false imprisonment and abuse.

The couple was arrested at their Perris home in January after one of their daughters escaped.

Police said they found the children living in squalor and shackled to furniture.

Prosecutors have presented evidence that the couple chained their 12 children to bed as punishment and deprived them of food. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz dismissed an abuse charge pertaining to their youngest daughter, age 2.

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The alleged years-long abuse was so extreme, most of the children were emaciated and barely educated.
Authorities have said the Turpin home reeked of human waste and the evidence of starvation was obvious, with the oldest of 13 siblings weighing just 82 pounds.

Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin called the case the worst child abuse he's ever seen.

Hestrin said he met with the children prior to Friday's developments. He said the children were uniformly pleased that they won't have to testify.

"I met with all the victims prior to today, all of them including the 3-year-old, and I was very taken by them, by their optimism, by their hope for the future, for their future. They have a zest for life and huge smiles and I was, I am optimistic for them," Hestrin said.

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