Last witness testifies in Nicole Finn trial

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DES MOINES, Iowa (WOI-TV) -- The defense rested Tuesday and all the evidence has been presented to the jury in the Nicole Finn trial. The State wrapped things up by calling a rebuttal witness to talk about Nicole Finn's mental state.

The prosecution brought in psychiatrist Dr. James Dennert Tuesday. He gave his thoughts on testimony from the defense's witness, psychologist Dr. Carlo Giacomoni. Dr. Giacomoni said Monday he diagnosed Nicole Finn with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of an abusive relationship she had in the past. But Dr. Dennert disagreed with the diagnosis.

"Mrs. Finn did indicate to me some symptoms that could be consistent with that, again around Natalie's death, related to Natalie's death," Dr. Dennert said. "I don't see anything in the record and I'm not aware of anything that would lead me to that diagnosis prior to the time of Natalie's death."

Things got a little heated between Dr. Dennert and the defense, who said he never even discussed domestic violence with Nicole Finn.

Defense attorney Thomas Augustine said, "You didn't even talk about the subject that Dr. Giacomoni said was one of the reasons she has PTSD." Dr. Dennert replied saying, "I'm saying that other than the information she provided to Dr. Giacomoni, there is no indication that Ms. Finn had those symptoms."

Dr. Dennert went on to say only a minority of people with trauma develop PTSD, and they are usually soldiers of prisoners of war. He also said when it came to dissociation -- or becoming detached from your surroundings -- Nicole Finn still should have been aware of what was happening to her children.

"There is nothing in either of those diagnosis or the symptoms accompanying those diagnosis that would prevent an individual from being able to understand the ramifications of his or her actions," Dr. Dennert said.

Assistant Polk County Attorney Nan Horvat asked, "[Is there] anything to indicate that Mrs. Finn de-realized for over a year how she was treating her children?" Dr. Dennert replied by saying, "It would be exceptionally unusual."

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