Adoptive Mom to Use ‘Diminished Capacity’ as Defense in Natalie Finn’s Death

Nicole Finn (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa – A West Des Moines woman accused of killing her adoptive daughter plans to use diminished capacity as the defense during her murder trial.

The documents affirming Nicole Finn’s defense were filed Friday in Polk County Court. She is charged in the death of her 16-year-old adopted daughter Natalie Finn. The teen was found unresponsive in the family’s home on October 24th, 2016. She was wearing an adult diaper and officials say it appears Natalie had been sitting in her own waste for some time.

Autopsy result show she died of cardiac arrest after nearly starving to death under the care of her adoptive parents, Nicole Finn and Joseph Finn.

Natalie Finn was adopted out of foster care and the Iowa Department of Human Services had received calls about her and investigated the teen’s claim that her mother was not feeding her. DHS’ investigation found that there was ample food in the home and that Natalie was deciding not to eat.

Both adoptive parents are charged in her death. Nicole Finn and Joseph Finn are charged with child endangerment resulting in death, first degree kidnapping, child endangerment-serious injury, and neglect or abandonment of a dependent person.

Nicole Finn is also charged with first degree murder.

Back in August, a district court judge denied Nicole Finn’s motion to move her trial out of Polk County because of pre-trial publicity. She is scheduled to go trial on October 23rd.

The judge also said a hearing for Joseph Finn on a motion to move his trial will be held closer to his trial date, which is scheduled for November 27th. The judge will then determine whether proceedings should be moved from Polk County because of publicity from Nicole Finn’s trial.

Nicole Finn and Joseph Finn are being held in the Polk County Jail.