DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa teenager testified that his mother forced him and his two sisters to sleep on their bedroom floor in their own waste for months and that she refused to feed one sister in the days before she starved to death.
The teen told the Polk County jury on Wednesday that his sister Natalie had become too weak to get up to eat, but their mother told Natalie she wouldn't help her, the Des Moines Register reported .
"She said, 'Since you're not going to get up, I'm not going to feed you,'" he testified.
Nicole Finn, 43, was charged with murder, kidnapping and child endangerment after Natalie died in October 2016 at the age of 16. She's also accused of abusing her 16-year-old son and a younger daughter, who investigators say were severely malnourished and living in squalor in the family's West Des Moines home.
The son said Nicole Finn forced them to ask permission to eat, bathe or leave their room, but that she was often "not available" or "not willing" when they did ask. He said he and his sisters would sneak out of their bedroom window to beg for money to buy food, and that he once went two weeks without eating.
The teen also recounted Natalie's last night alive. He told jurors that he and his younger sister had been feeding Natalie water with a syringe in their room and that their mother told them to take a nap. They woke up around 8 or 9 p.m. and found Natalie had vomited and appeared to have no heartbeat, he said.
The younger daughter testified Thursday that her mother refused to let her and her siblings use the bathroom, so she had to resort to urinating on the bedroom floor. She said her mother knew how hungry she was because she fainted, and that she put a handwritten note in the bedroom window before her sister died that read: "Need food and money."
She and her brother testified that their mother gave CPR to Natalie before paramedics arrived at the house.
Nicole Finn's ex-husband, Joe Finn, is charged with kidnapping, neglect or abandonment and child endangerment. He wasn't living with the rest of the family when Natalie died. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 8.
- Family of 5 displaced before Christmas after fire destroys Coleman home
- Abilene police arrest Grinch who tried to steal Christmas
- Texas woman wakes up to yard decorated with Christmas lights
- Doctor accused of spiking pregnant girlfriend's drink with abortion pill
- Abilene man arrested for allegedly running multi-county auto sale scheme
- 29 indicted by Taylor County grand jury
- Snow in Abilene & the Big Country for Christmas? Maybe, maybe not
- Salvation Army needs your help this holiday season
- Taylor County Sheriff's Office behind the wheel for simulator training
- Indictment: Abilene man rubbed genitals on child's leg
- Indictment: Man beaten with baseball bat during robbery
- Man arrested in Brownwood's largest meth bust gets indicted
- City of Early declines using taxpayer funds to pay for lobbyist
- Thousands of toys and dollars collected at Brownwood toy drive
- Brownwood approves retaining a lobbyist after 2 people speak up against it
- Ranger College releases settlement with former professor over sexual harassment allegations
- Brown County veteran being sued by hospital for unpaid fees
- Clyde man indicted for sexual assault
- Dallas Cowboys apologize to Coleman family for mistreatment of their handicapped daughter
- Big County couple says AT&T Stadium mistreated their handicapped daughter
- 1 killed, 2 injured in I-20 crash near Colorado City
- After 5-1 school board vote, Chris Hagler's contract renewed with Anson
- Stamford's James Washington claims Biletnikoff Award as nation's best receiver