DES MOINES, Iowa -- On the day of her death, 16-year-old Natalie Finn was found in an adult diaper, lying on the cold, linoleum floor of her West Des Moines home.
On Friday, state attorney Bret Lucas reminded Polk County Judge Karen Romano of the horrors Natalie endured during her short life.
"Finally, when she was too weak to move, too weak to sit up, and too weak to swallow, she left her on the floor of a barren room, filthy, covered in urine and feces, and left her there to die," said Lucas.
Judge Romano seemed almost at a loss for words and in disbelief as she sentenced Finn to three life terms, saying, "The injuries that were suffered by these children, the actions are just inexcusable to treat children in this manner."
The judge also explained why the three life sentences should be served consecutively--one after another--rather than concurrently.
"The court finds that if these sentences were in concurrent of each other, it would be inappropriate," said Romano. Lucas agreed, saying, "You have to take into account the three separate victims in this case, and I think the message needs to be sent that what happened to Natalie and the other two are three separate, distinct crimes."
Judge Romano denied Finn's request for a new trial based on Finn's claims that her attorneys were ineffective, yet Finn failed to provide new evidence. In an exchange with judge, who was asking Finn for any evidence that would show proof of a new trial, she said, "These guys probably wouldn't do it."
Judge Romano then replied, "That is not my question, whether these attorneys would do something. What type of evidence do you think there is?"
Finn replied, "I wouldn't be able to present anything. I mean, I don't have anything."
It was the only reaction from Finn, who offered no statement or apologies for abusing, neglecting, and murdering her daughter.
"It's good to finally have this case behind us," said Lucas, adding, "This was a very taxing case. Difficult to see, difficult to work with. The children in this case, it takes a toll, and so we can at least close this chapter and look toward Mr. Finn."
Nicole Finn told the court she will appeal the decision. She is also required to pay $150,000 to the estate of Natalie Finn. Joseph Finn, Nicole's ex-husband, will stand trial in April. He faces charges of kidnapping, child endangerment, and neglect or abandonment of a dependent in the death of Natalie Finn.