Nicole and Joseph Finn

Nicole Finn, left, and Joseph Finn: 

EDITORIAL: State must step up on foster care deaths

DES MOINES (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.

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.

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