Mom charged with torture denied mental health diversion

Authorities say a California judge has denied a request by a woman charged with the torture and abuse of most of her 13 children to be considered for a mental health diversion program.

The Riverside County District Attorney's office said in a statement Louise Turpin's attorney, Jeff Moore, made the request during a court appearance in Riverside, arguing his client had been diagnosed with histrionic personality disorder. The American Psychiatric Association's website states histrionic personality disorder is "a pattern of excessive emotion and attention seeking." The site reports a person with this disorder may be uncomfortable when not the center of attention or display rapidly shifting or exaggerated emotions. The judge had denied the request and found Turpin "posed an unreasonable risk to the public."

Turpin and her husband David Turpin are charged with the longtime abuse and torture of 12 of their 13 children. The couple was arrested in January when their 17-year-old daughter escaped from the family's Perris home and called 911.

Authorities said some of the girl's siblings had been shackled to their beds. The children, who ranged in age from 2 to 29, were severely underweight and hadn't bathed for months and the house reeked of human waste.

The Turpins have pleaded not guilty. They’re being held on $12 million bail each and are due back in court Nov. 30.


Dawn Kamber