California couple who starved and shackled their children sentenced to life

Louise Turpin and her husband David Turpin appear for a preliminary hearing in Superior Court in Riverside Calif

In statements to a court, David and Louise Turpin's children said they still love their parents.

When the Turpin children were found in their Perris home in January 2018, they ranged from ages 2 to 29.

The couple pleaded guilty in Riverside County Superior Court in February to torture and other abuse and neglect so severe it stunted their children's growth, led to muscle wasting and left two girls unable to bear children.

They are expected to serve the rest of their lives behind bars, unless granted parole in 25 years.

What else did the children say?

The eldest son and daughter of a couple who starved and shackled 12 of their children spoke publicly for the first time Friday, alternately condemning and forgiving their parents before a judge sentenced the pair to up to life in prison.

In the final stages of the trial, Louise Turpin tearfully apologized for hurting her children, the Associated Press reported.

A representative read a statement from another daughter identified as Joy: "Every year from as far back as I can remember, our parents tried to give us the nicest Christmas they could", the woman read to the court.

Another sibling recounted being haunted by their ordeal.

"I can not describe in words what I went through growing up". "Sometimes, I still have nightmares of things that had happened to us, such as my siblings being chained up or getting beaten".

"That is the past and this is now". "But I love my parents and have forgiven them".

But not all the children were so conciliatory.

"My parents took my whole life from me, but now I'm taking my life back". "I'm a fighter. I'm strong and I'm shooting through life like a rocket".

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"I saw my dad change my mom, but they didn't change me".

David Turpin's lawyer read part of a statement because he was too upset.

David added that he never meant to harm his children.

The officer the girl spoke to said she described being forced to sleep 20 hours a day and that they were only given one meal in the middle of the night - a combination of lunch and dinner that was mostly peanut butter sandwiches, chips and microwaved food.

David Turpin had been an engineer for Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

Louise Turpin, also apologised, saying she was "truly sorry" for what she had done. "Sometimes I just go on long rides because I enjoy it so much", he said. "I'm sorry if I've done anything to cause them harm".

"The only reason your punishment is less than the maximum, in my opinion, is because you accepted responsibility at an early stage of the proceedings and spared the children from having to relive the humiliation and harm they endured in that house of horrors", Schwartz said.

Judge Bernard Schwartz said: "You have severed the ability to interact and raise your children that you have created and brought into this world". The house was covered in filth and the stench of human waste was overwhelming, deputies said.

Deputies testified that the children said they were only allowed to shower once a year.

The 17-year-old girl later told investigators she had been choked so hard by her mother for watching a Justin Bieber video, she thought she would die.

The victims were forbidden from taking a shower a few times a year, were unable to use the toilet and none of them had ever seen a dentist.

They were so malnourished and emaciated that police mistook them for much younger children. "They abuse us and my two little sisters right now are chained up", Jordan told the dispatcher in the call, which was only just released this week.

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