Psychologist testifies mother accused of starving adopted daughter to death suffered from PTSD

DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) -- Defense attorneys for Nicole Finn called their first witness to the stand Monday in her murder trial-– a clinical psychologist from Minnesota.

Carlo Giacomino diagnosed Nicole Finn with two disorders. He told the court Finn suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder caused by an abusive relationship and other disorders that affect Nicole’s ability to combat stress.

The psychologist blames Nicole’s inability to seek help from the Department of Human Services, Natalie’s school and police — on her mental disorders.

Mother accused of starving adopted daughter
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Mother accused of starving adopted daughter
(Photo: WHO)
(Photo: WHO)
(Photo: WHO)
(Photo: WHO)
(Photo: WHO)
(Photo: WHO)

He added it’s more deep-rooted than what state prosecutors say when she just declined help.

He said at the time of 16-year-old Natalie Finn’s death, Nicole didn’t recognize just how thin her adopted daughter was or how filthy the conditions were in the home where Natalie and her siblings were living.

“Because of her significant difficulty dealing with emotional stress, or this stress…she was not processing it, she wasn’t allowing herself to notice that maybe there’s something really bad going on,” Giacomino testified.

State prosecutors say Nicole knowingly starved those kids and Nicole is not a victim in this case, only the kids are.

There’s no word on whether Nicole Finn will testify in her own defense.

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