An Iowa mother who starved her teenage daughter to death was found guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and child endangerment.
On Thursday, a 12-person jury convicted Nicole Finn, 43, in the October 2016 death of 16-year-old Natalie Finn, who weighed just 81 pounds at the time of her death, the Des Moines Register reports.
Police state that Finn had neglected her three adopted children, forcing them to remain in a room after she pulled them from school and giving them little to no food. Natalie Finn’s siblings testified that their mother deprived them of food, leading them to become so thirsty that they had to drink water from a toilet.
In the days prior to the 16-year-old’s death, her siblings claim that she stopped being able to walk. On Oct. 23, the day before she died, Natalie Finn’s younger sister was instructed by their mother to give her sister a sponge bath.
On Oct. 24, Nicole Finn is said to have moved a space heater into the room where she forced her adopted children to live. She attempted to feed Natalie Finn a peanut butter smoothie out of a dirty catsup bottle. The 16-year-old vomited, choked and died. Nicole attempted to perform CPR for 15 minutes.
Police discovered the teen’s body lying on a waste-covered linoleum floor wearing an adult diaper. Her body was covered in bed sores and she had little fat or muscle remaining.
“In 18 years of being a prosecutor, this is the worst case I’ve ever seen,” prosecutor Bret Lucas said after the verdict was delivered.
Finn will be sentenced on Jan. 26. In Iowa, first-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence.
Finn’s ex-husband, Joseph Finn, also faces felony charges in the case. He has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, neglect or abandonment, and child endangerment. His trial is set to begin Jan. 8.
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