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Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale killed Spanish teacher for poor grade, Iowa prosecutor says

Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale killed Spanish teacher for poor grade, Iowa prosecutor says
Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale killed Spanish teacher for poor grade, Iowa prosecutor says

Two Iowa teenagers killed their high school Spanish teacher last year out of frustration over a poor grade, prosecutors said Tuesday in court papers that for the first time reveal a possible motive. .

The documents were filed ahead of a hearing on Wednesday where a judge will hear arguments on whether to suppress any of the evidence against Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale, who are charged with the murder of a high school Spanish teacher Nohema Graber in the small town of Fairfield.

A lawyer for Miller is asking the Fairfield court to invalidate four search warrants and remove evidence from Miller’s home, comments he made to police and information taken from his cellphone and media platform social Snapchat.

Graber’s body was found in a park in Fairfield on November 3, 2021, hidden under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties. She had been beaten to death with a baseball bat. Miller and Goodale were 16 at the time.

Fairfield is a town of about 9,400 people located about 100 miles from Des Moines.

Nohema Graber

Fairfield High School

Investigators found that Miller met with Graber at Fairfield High School on the afternoon of Nov. 2, 2021 to discuss his poor grade in his class. Graber then drove her van to a park where she was known to take daily after-school rides, authorities said. Witnesses saw his van leave the park less than an hour later with two men in the front seat.

The van was abandoned at the end of a country lane. After receiving a phone call from Goodale, a witness later picked up Goodale and Miller as they headed into town on that road, investigators say.

In an interview with police, Miller described frustrations he had with the way Graber taught Spanish and how his class grade lowered his GPA.

“The low grade is believed to be the motive for Graber’s murder that directly links Miller,” said court documents filed by Jefferson County District Attorney Chauncey Molding and Iowa Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown.

Miller initially denied any involvement in Graber’s disappearance, but “later said he knew about everything but had no involvement,” according to court documents. He told police the real killers – a “roving group of masked children” – forced him to provide his wheelbarrow to help move his body and drive his van out of the park.

The documents say a witness provided photos of a Snapchat conversation “that identify Goodale’s confession that he acted in concert with another person to cause Graber’s death.” The witness identified Goodale as making statements implicating both Goodale and Miller by name.

Miller’s attorney, Christine Branstad, claims the search warrants were issued illegally in part because “law enforcement failed to provide information to the issuing magistrate to show that the informant is reliable or that the informant’s information should be considered reliable”.

Miller is due on March 20 in Council Bluffs, and Goodale’s trial is set for December 5 in Davenport.

The two teenagers, now 17, will be tried as adults. In Iowa, the penalty for a first degree murder conviction is life in prison. Iowa Supreme Court decisions require that minors convicted of even the most serious crimes have a chance at parole.

Graber, 66, had been a Spanish teacher at Fairfield High School since 2012, according to the school’s website.

“To know Nohema was to love her – she was the kind of person every community aspires to have in their midst and we were blessed to have her in our lives,” Graber’s family said in a statement after his death. “She lived for her children, her family and her faith. Her next priorities were her work as an educator and the children she taught, her local parish and the Spanish-speaking community of Fairfield.”

. Murder Nohema Graber Willard Miller Jeremy Goodale have killed teacher spanish for bad note according to prosecutor iowa

. Willard Miller Jeremy Goodale killed Spanish teacher poor grade Iowa prosecutor

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