• Turpin parents plead not guilty as it's revealed 17-year-old who raised the alarm plotted escape for two years

    The father of 13 children held in captivity in California has been charged with carrying out a lewd act against a child, as it emerged that the 17-year-old who raised the alarm had plotted her escape for two years. Appearing before a judge in Riverside on Thursday afternoon, Mr and Mrs Turpin plead not guilty to all charges against them. The pair were led in chains into Judge Michael Donner's courtroom in Riverside, wearing prison-issue black long-sleeved clothes. The couple were given two different lawyers to represent them, allowing each to claim the other has more culpability if they wish, according to Mrs Turpin's attorney Jeff Moore. David Macher, the public defender representing Mr Turpin, admitted it would be "a challenge" to defend his client. But, he added: "Our clients are presumed to be innocent. It's a very important assumption and it applies to each and every one of you. We're going to apply a vigorous defence to Mr Turpin." When asked by a reporter  why Mr Turpin appeared dazed, Mr Macher said he was "not in a position to discuss his mental state in public at this time." Mr Macher had attempted to block live broadcast of video from the courtroom, but Judge Donner denied his request, saying that the coverage had already "spanned the globe". Prosecutors detailing the case against David and Louise Turpin said that the house contained hundreds of journals kept by the children, which they believe will be crucial in building a case against the parents. David and Louise Turpin Mr Turpin, 57, and his wife, 49, are charged with abuse dating back to 2010. Michael Hestrin, Riverside County district attorney, said that both Mr and Mrs Turpin were charged on Thursday morning with 12 counts of torture and 12 counts of false imprisonment. "Right now we are charging one count of a lewd act," said Mr Hestrin.  "The charge is a lewd act on a child under 14. We are alleging that Mr Turpin touched one of the children in a lewd way." The pair had 13 children, aged two to 29, but the charges were not in relation to the two-year-old, who appears, prosecutors said, to have been spared the treatment inflicted on their siblings. Turpin family house map In addition, the couple face seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult, and six counts of child abuse. "This is severe emotional and physical abuse," he said. "This is depraved conduct."  The horrific abuse was discovered when one of the children, a 17-year-old girl, escaped by climbing out a window of the house and calling police from a disconnected mobile phone.   Mr Hestrin said the girl had been planning the escape with one of her sisters for two years.   The sister climbed out of the window with her, but turned back out of fear, he said.   “The 17-year-old had been working on a plan with her sibling to escape the abuse for more than two years,” said Mr Hestrin.   “She took her sibling with her through window, but that sibling became frightened and went back.”   Police congratulated the girl on her bravery. Lawyers for David Turpin said he appeared 'dazed' Credit: Reuters Mr Hestrin alleged that the children, currently in hospital, were nocturnal - typically going to sleep around 5am and sleeping all day, and then being awake all night. Their parents would only let them shower once a year, he claimed. Mr Hestrin claimed the Turpins would lock up their children for weeks on end as a “form of punishment”, and left them severely malnourished after feeding them just once a day.   “As a punishment starting many years ago they began to be tied up, first with ropes,” said Mr Hestrin. “One victim was tied up and hog tied. When that victim was able to escape the ropes the defendants started using chains and padlocks.   “These punishments would last for weeks or even months,” he alleged. “The victims were often not released from their chains to go to the bathroom.”   Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin announces charges against David Turpin, 56, and Louise Turpin, 49, in Riverside Credit:  LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters Mr Hestrin claimed all 13 of the children were hospitalised with “severe caloric malnutrition connected with muscle wasting.”   The oldest child, a 29-year-old woman, weighed just five stone (82lbs) when she was rescued by police.   Doctors said some of the children were suffering from cognitive neuropathy as a result of the abuse, meaning their mental age was much lower than their real age.   Mr Hestrin claimed the children were also subject to “frequent beatings and even strangulation” as punishment for washing.   David and Louise Turpin with their children as the couple renew their vows in 2015 Credit: Facebook “If the children were found to wash their hands above the wrist area they would be accused of playing in the water and would be locked up,” said the district attorney. Mr and Mrs Turpin would buy food for themselves, but not for the children, Mr Hestrin said. They would further torture their hungry family by leaving food out in their line of sight. "The parents would buy food for themselves - pies, pumpkin pies, apple pies; leave it on the counter and not let the children eat it," he said. He added that the children were not allowed to play. "They were not allowed toys, although there were many toys in the house in their original packaging, and never opened," he said. Media report from the home of the Turpin family Credit:  BILL WECHTER/AFP The pair were arrested on Sunday after the 17-year-old escaped from their home in Perris, climbing out of a window and alerting the police. On arriving at the house they found that two of the children - an 11-year-old and a 14-year-old - had been freed by their siblings. A 22-year-old was still chained to the bed when police entered. Bail has been set at $13 million for each of the defendants. "If convicted of all charges, they face 94 (years) up to life in prison," Mr Hestrin told reporters in Riverside. On Thursday afternoon the couple will appear in court, and are expected to face charges of torture and child endangerment. 

  • US border patrol exposed kicking over water bottles left for migrants

    US border patrol agents are routinely sabotaging water supplies left for migrants in the Arizona desert, condemning them to death, humanitarian groups have said. Travellers attempting to cross into the US from Mexico regularly die of dehydration, as well as exposure to extreme heat or cold, so aid groups leave water bottles and emergency stocks such as blankets at points throughout the Sonoran desert. A video released by the groups showed border patrol agents kicking over water bottles and pouring away their contents.

  • During This American Airlines Emergency Landing, a Pilot Filmed What Happened (It's Chilling)

    Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.  It all started calmly enough. As the Flight Attendant began to ask passengers to fasten their seatbelts, everything seemed normal. Then came the word brace.  You never want to hear that on a plane. It means there might be trouble. In the case of this American Airlines flight from Phoenix to Dallas-Fort Worth, operated by Mesa Airlines, the Flight Attendant suddenly announced that things might get bumpy. Having instructed passengers on the brace position, he then added: "We expect to evacuate the aircraft quickly and safety [sic], if we evacuate." The footage posted to Facebook by passenger

  • Tucker Carlson melts down on air, says "up yours" to elected official

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been ramping up his white-nationalist rhetoric over the last few months while also exhibiting a kind of angry recklessness previously unseen from the formerly establishment, club-tied Republican. This mounting boil frothed over Wednesday night in a weather exchange with Chicago Alderman George Cardenas over so-called sanctuary cities in which he repeatedly called his guest a "loathsome little demagogue" and told him "up yours". Carlson is a vociferous opponent of "sanctuary cities," known as a policy for state or local governments to not cooperate with federal immigration authorities on tactics such as holding undocumented immigrants beyond their release date. The Fox News host would not let go of the idea that American citizens had been slighted by men like Cardenas because of the policy, and Carlson demanded that his guest prove how citizens stand to benefit.

  • Woman sued after outing salon for eyebrow tattoo that left her 'scarred for life'

    The business claims it has lost 11 clients as a result of Amanda Coats's Facebook post - at a cost of $5,600 - and the tattooist has been subject to ridicule.

  • Reddit user points out tiny 'Game of Thrones' detail that may have foreshadowed a big twist

    When Game of Thrones fans first reached the Red Wedding chapter in A Storm of Swords - the third book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series - many couldn’t believe what they were reading. But as he is known to do, Martin had dropped several hints of what was to come leading up to the gruesome massacre. For example, as was pointed out by eagle-eyed Reddit user zlow821 on Thursday, there’s a passage earlier in the book in which the Hound and Arya Stark are discussing what will happen when he safely delivers her to her brother Robb. Arya insists that Robb would never accept the Hound into his army, prompting one of the Hound’s patented surly retorts. “Then I’ll take as much gold

  • Balding Prince William has finally shaved his head - take a look back at the road to acceptance

    Prince William has shaved his head, suggesting he has finally embraced baldness. New photos have emerged of the Prince debuting a freshly shaven head, suggesting he has finally taken the plunge. The photos were taken while the Duke of Cambridge met Sir Hugh Taylor, chairman of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, in London on January 18.