LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- The Perris couple accused of torturing and starving most of their children — in a case that caught national attention after one of the victims escaped through a window last year — pleaded guilty to charges Friday.
David and Louise Turpin pleaded guilty to a total of 14 charges, including a count of torture, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. They are expected to serve an indeterminate sentence of 25 years to life in prison, meaning they will spend the rest of their lives in prison unless granted parole, DA Mike Hestrin told reporters following their court appearance.
They will be formally sentenced on April 19.
Twelve of the couple's 13 children, who range from 2 to 29 years old, were found severely abused and malnourished, with some shackled to beds and rarely allowed to leave their Riverside County home, according to authorities. They were rescued on Jan. 14, 2018.
With their parents' plea deals, the children will be able to avoid further trauma by having to testify in a trial, Hestrin said. The case is particularly sensitive given the scale of media attention it has garnered, he added.
The extent of the abuse was painfully apparent through the emaciated appearance of the children, some of whom were young adults who looked more like small children when they were first removed from their parents' custody, authorities have said.
"One of the children, at age 12, is the weight of an average 7-year-old," Hestrin told reporters days after the Turpins' arrest. "The 29-year-old female victim weighs 82 pounds."
Despite the conditions faced by most of the Turpin children, the family dogs were kept clean and well-fed, according to prosecutors.
The tortured children suffered cognitive impairment, nerve damage and other results of prolonged physical abuse and starvation that is requiring extensive psychiatric treatment and a gradual transition into normal eating patterns, according to prosecutors and medical professionals.
The Turpin parents have each pleaded guilty to one count of torture, three counts of willful child cruelty, four counts of false imprisonment and six counts of cruelty to an adult dependent.