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Natalie Finn's sister, WDM detective testify

M. Finn got emotional while on the stand Thursday

DES MOINES - Local 5 is in Polk County Court for the murder trial of Nicole Finn.

Finn is charged in the 2016 death of her 16-year-old adopted daughter Natalie. Finn faces the following charges: Murder in the First Degree and Kidnapping in the First Degree (three counts).


Natalie's sister testified Thursday, one day after her two brother took the stand. The sister, M. Finn, is now 15 years old and is the youngest of the Finn children. She got very emotion while testifying, talking about the night her sister died and what it was like in their West Des Moines home.

Media was not allowed into the courtroom to record video or audio of her, but Local 5's Orko Manna was inside the courtroom to hear the testimony. The fall before Natalie died, M. Finn said she and her siblings did not eat every day, but felt too weak to ask their mother Nicole Finn for permission. She also said her mother knew she was hungry because of an incident when she passed out and Nicole did not help her. M. Finn even made a sign she put in her window that said, "NEED FOOD AND MONEY."

Much like her brother J. Finn said on Wednesday, M. Finn described having to be supervised while going to the bathroom - and talked about how her body was covered in sores from sleeping on the ground without a bed. M. Finn said her mother saw Natalie's sores, but never went to the doctor to treat them.

M. Finn started to cry when talking about the night last October when Natalie died. She also teared up when she saw a photo of herself from the hospital last year. In it, she is extremely thin. When she took the stand Thursday to testify, she appears to now be a healthy teenage girl.

In the afternoon, West Des Moines Police Detective Chris Morgan testified. He worked on the Finn case starting the night Natalie died and into the weeks that followed. Det. Morgan gave more insight into what Nicole Finn thought of her kids through her own text messages.

"Nicole cared a lot about animals. She did not care a lot about the children in her care," Det. Morgan said. "They were a burden to her. In several text messages she stated that she hates them."

Det. Morgan went on to read off several of those text messages. One in particular is from Nicole to her ex-husband Joseph Finn, talking about her kids, and Natalie in particular: "They are worthless. I cannot stand them. I cannot get any help from them. I do not want them here anymore. It is all I can do not to go out there and take out my days' frustration on her. But in the past when I get near her outside, she starts screaming for the neighbors to hear. She's a b---. I'm so done with her s---."

Prosecutors will continue to question Det. Morgan Friday, when the trial resumes in the morning around 9 a.m. Stay with Local 5 for the latest details. Local 5's Orko Manna will be in the courtroom again. You can follow him on Twitter @orko_manna for live updates.

Stay tuned to weareiowa.com and Local 5 News for live updates throughout the trial

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