DES MOINES, Iowa-- A West Des Moines man has pleaded guilty for his role in the abuse of three of his adopted children, one of who died in the home of his ex-wife. Sixteen-year-old Natalie Finn died of starvation in 2016 in the West Des Moines home of Nicole Finn.
Joseph Finn pleaded guilty on Wednesday to three counts of assault while participating in a felony, causing a serious injury. First-degree kidnapping charges, which would have carried a possible sentence of life in prison, were dropped as part of the plea deal as was a charge of child endangerment resulting in death.
“I had helped I gone over there and fixed a piece of wood that would not allow the window to come down,” Joseph Finn said.
None of Natalie’s siblings were in court Wednesday as their adoptive father admitted guilt. Joseph Finn, who did not live in the same home as Natalie and her siblings, acknowledged he saw abuse and didn't try to stop it. Instead, he helped confine those kids to their bedroom.
Finn says he got caught up in a web of his ex-wife Nicole Finn's manipulation. “She had painted a picture of distrust and lies by the children that I bought into and so at the time I did believe her,” Joseph Finn said.
Finn faces a of maximum thirty years in prison and nearly a million dollars in fines. He will be sentenced on May 4th, 2018. Defense Attorney James Cook tells us he will ask for Finn's sentence to be served concurrently, meaning he'd only serve ten years.