DES MOINES - Jury deliberations will continue Thursday morning after jurors could not reach a verdict after four hours of deliberation Wednesday in the murder trial for 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).
DAY NINE OF NICOLE FINN TRIAL (12/13/17):
Both the prosecution and defense made closing arguments Wednesday. The prosecution described once again what they call the house of horrors, where Natalie Finn and her siblings lived.
"This Finn household is unlike any house that you know," said Assistant Polk County Attorney Nan Horvat. "They didn't get to go out. They didn't go out to use the bathroom. They didn't go out of be fed. They didn't go out to play, the way the pets did."
Horvat said Nicole Finn used food as a weapon against Natalie, which ultimately resulted in her death. The defense disagreed.
"This situation is tragic and sad, but it's not criminal," said defense attorney Jennifer Larson.
Larson said Natalie did die of starvation, but the State did not prove that it was at the hands of Nicole Finn. They argued Nicole's mental disorders made her emotionally detached from what she was doing to her children.
"She is not capable of carrying out an intent to kill because she cannot perceive the reality and the situations going on," Larson said. "How does that show malice? It doesn't."
But the State remained firm, saying Nicole knew exactly what she was doing.
"Can she deliberate, premeditate, form a specific intent to kill? The State's position is absolutely," Horvat said. "She's got a plan and she has carried it out."
The jury will be back in the courthouse Thursday morning at 9 a.m. to continue their deliberations. Once they finish, a verdict will be reached. Stay with Local 5 News for the latest on this trial. You can also follow Local 5's Orko Manna on Twitter @orko_manna for live updates from the courtroom.
Both the prosecution and defense made closing arguments Wednesday, with Nicole Finn's mental state being a central issue.
"She is all in. She's got a plan and she has carried it out. There is no disease, or disorder, they both told us she's not got anything that prevents her from thinking, and there is no mental condition that prevents her from forming an intent to kill," said Assistant Polk County Attorney Nan Horvat.
Nicole Finn's attorneys argued that she suffered from emotional detachment and did not have an intent to harm.
"She is not capable of carrying out an intent to kill because she cannot perceive the reality and the situations going on," said defense attorney Jennifer Larson.
Stay tuned to weareiowa.com and Local 5 News for live updates throughout the trial
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