New charges filed against parents in
California abused siblings case
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[February 24, 2018]
By Tori Richards
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Reuters) - A California
couple accused of keeping 13 children imprisoned, chained and starved in
a squalid suburban home were hit with additional charges on Friday as
defense lawyers said they were overwhelmed by the sheer amount of
evidence in the case.
David Turpin, 57, and his wife Louise, 49, were advised of the new
charges during a brief hearing in Riverside County Superior Court at
which they appeared dressed in black at a table with their attorneys but
did not speak.
A spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office said the
new charges included three counts of child abuse against both
defendants. Louise Turpin was also charged with felony assault.
"Further investigation we have been doing in this case led us to amend
the complaint, which is not uncommon," spokesman John Hall said outside
The Turpins were arrested on January 14 at their home in Perris,
California, about 70 miles (113 km) east of Los Angeles, after an
emaciated teenage girl climbed out of a window of the house and called
Officers responding to the scene found her 12 siblings ranging in age
from two to 29 inside, suffering from malnourishment, muscle wasting and
other signs of severe abuse.
Defense attorneys, who have asked the public to remember that their
clients had a presumption of innocence, told the judge on Friday that
they were skeptical they could be ready to proceed with a preliminary
hearing in the case in May because of the voluminous amount of evidence
turned over by prosecutors.
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Louise Turpin looks over at David Turpin as they appear in court in
Riverside, California, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Gina
Both defendants are jailed in lieu of $12 million bail until trial
and prohibited from contacting their children.
The children will not be required to testify during the preliminary
hearing, at which a judge determines if there is enough evidence to
bind the defendants over for trial, under a California law that
allows police officers to summarize their testimony, sparing them
The Turpins were ordered back to court on March 23 for another
hearing in the case.
(Reporting by Tori Richards in Riverside, California; Writing by Dan
Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis)
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