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Brother gives testimony in Iowa teen starvation death trial

Nicole Finn and Joseph Finn II photos from WHO.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa teenager has testified in the murder trial of his adoptive mother, telling jurors she refused to feed his sister days before she starved to death.

Forty-three-year-old Nicole Finn has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the Oct. 24 death of 16-year-old Natalie Finn. She’s also accused of abusing two of her other adopted children, who investigators say were severely malnourished and living in squalid conditions in the family’s home. A medical examiner found that 16-year-old Natalie Finn, who weighed 56 pounds at the time of her death,  died from denial of critical care.

The Des Moines Register reports that Jaden Finn told a Polk County jury on Wednesday that Natalie had become too weak to get up to eat. He told jurors his mother told his sister she wouldn’t feed her if she wouldn’t get up.

Jaden also testified that their mother forced them to ask permission to eat, bathe or leave their room.

Authorities had previously revealed that Sabrina Ray was homeschooled and that she and her siblings had been monitored by the Iowa Department of Human Services following complaints about inadequate nutrition and the use of corporal punishment.