Trial begins in starvation death of West Des Moines teen - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Trial begins in starvation death of West Des Moines teen

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A trial for a West Des Moines woman charged with murder in the death of her adopted teenager daughter has begun with a prosecutor arguing her home was ruled by "fear and confinement."

Lawyers gave opening statements Friday in the trial of Nicole Finn. She's pleaded not guilty to murder, kidnapping and child endangerment in the October 2016 starvation death of 16-year-old Natalie Finn.

Polk County prosecutor Bret Lucas says Nicole Finn created an intolerable home, calling it "a place of fear and confinement." He says Natalie and her siblings would sneak out to beg for food.

Defense lawyer Jennifer Larson countered that "things aren't always as they appear."

The girl's adoptive father, Joseph Finn II, has pleaded not guilty to related charges. His trial is set for Jan. 8.

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