Archive for  December 17th 2017

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  On Thursday, a West Des Moines mother was found guilty of murdering her 16-year-old adopted daughter. Now, prosecutors hope this trial paves the way for other similar cases.

Nicole Finn faces mandatory life in prison for the death of her adopted daughter, Natalie Finn. Natalie died last year from cardiac arrest brought on by starvation.

Nicole was also found guilty on kidnapping charges related to the other children she adopted.

Prosecutors hope this trial opens the doors for justice in others case, like the Sabrina Ray case; Ray’s adoptive parents are charged with the girl’s death. Family law expert Rob Sand says it is often difficult for jurors to come to a verdict in child abuse cases based on the amount of evidence involved.

“I think, fundamentally, it’s hard to predict what any jury is doing. You can have one jury that looks at a body of evidence and has a snap decision in a matter of minutes, another jury might look at that case for days. Part of it depends on the leadership, who might be the jury foreperson,” Sand said.

State lawmakers say these cases could bring about important policy changes in the Department of Human Services.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania  —  The oldest polar bear in captivity in the U.S. celebrated her 37th birthday this week.

The polar bear’s name is Coldilocks, and she lives at the Philadelphia Zoo where she’s been since 1981. The zoo celebrated her big day with the birthday song and a cake only a polar bear cold love, made of peanut butter, honey, raisins, and fish.

Zoo officials say most polar bears only live for 23 years in captivity. They credit Coldilocks’ long life to the care she receives from the zoo’s veterinary staff and her keepers.