WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — The adoptive mother of a West Des Moines teenager who officials say was starved to death plans to use “diminished responsibility” as a murder trial defense.

Polk County court records say notice of the defense was filed last week for 43-year-old Nicole Finn.

Finn has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the death of 16-year-old Natalie Finn. Nicole Finn’s trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 23. The girl’s adoptive father, 46-year-old Joseph Finn II, has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, neglect or abandonment and child endangerment. His trial is set to begin Nov. 27.

Medical examiners say Natalie Finn died from emaciation due to denial of critical care.

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