Iowa Teens Plead Guilty To 1st Degree Murder; Used Baseball Bat To Kill Their Spanish Teacher

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 04/19/2023
On Tuesday, two Iowa youths accused of killing a high school teacher by beating him entered a plea of guilty to first-degree murder.

Both Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale altered their pleas to guilty and confessed to aiding in the murder of Nohema Graber, their Fairfield High School Spanish instructor, who was 66 years old. According to the prosecution, the youths' 2021 assault was motivated by Graber giving Miller a subpar mark. Both individuals were 16 at the time.

According to the prosecution, there is proof that both Miller and Goodale hit Graber with bats. Miller acknowledged being a part of the killing's planning and execution, but she denied ever striking Graber. Goodale stated that when Miller suggested killing Graber, they both hit her.

In November 2021, the teacher's corpse was discovered in a Fairfield park concealed by a tarp, a wheelbarrow and railway ties. Fairfield, which has a population of 9,400, is located about 100 miles southeast of Des Moines.

In exchange for Miller's cooperation, the prosecution agreed to propose a sentence of between 30 years and life in prison with the chance of release. According to the prosecution, Goodale should get a sentence of between 25 years and life in prison with the chance of release.

Goodale had already consented to provide evidence against Miller in his trial, which was scheduled to start later this week.

Due to the seriousness of the murder, Goodale and Miller were both prosecuted as adults; but, since they were just 16 at the time Graber was killed, they were not required to serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Goodale is now 18 and Willard is now 17.

According to the investigators, Graber and Miller met at the high school on the afternoon of November 2, 2021, to talk about his subpar grade in her course. Authorities claim that Graber afterwards drove her vehicle to a park where she was known to go for regular walks after school. Less than an hour later, witnesses spotted her vehicle leave the park with two men seated in the front seats.

At the end of a country road, the vehicle was abandoned. A witness subsequently picked up Goodale and Miller as they went to town on that route after receiving a call from Goodale, according to police.

Miller expressed his displeasure with Graber's method of teaching Spanish and how the grade in her class was harming his GPA during his interview with the police.

Following Miller's recruitment of him to assist, Goodale testified that the two teenagers plotted the murder for roughly two weeks.

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