Iowa teens charged as adults after using a baseball bat to kill a Spanish teacher
Two Iowa teens were charged as adults for allegedly killing their Spanish teacher with a baseball bat
Last year, two Iowa teens followed a Spanish teacher and attacked her with a baseball bat, resulting in her death. After the attack the teens hid her body, police released on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
The crime: Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and Jeremy Everett Goodale, both 16-year-old students at Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Iowa, were charged as adults with first-degree homicide and conspiracy to commit first-degree homicide, according to AP.
- The victim was Nohema Graber, a 66-year old Spanish teacher at Fairfield High School. Graber had been teaching at the school since 2012, according to CBS News.
- Graber’s body was found in Chautauqua Park, where she would take walks in the afternoons.
- Her body was “concealed under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties. The documents say she had suffered ‘inflicted trauma to the head,’” said investigators, according to the Ottumwa Courier.
- The attorneys of Miller and Goodale have requested that most information be kept from public knowledge under an evidence seal.
- An alleged motive for the killing is still unknown, according to CBS.
The charges: “Goodale and Miller are charged as adults, as required by Iowa court procedures, which say anyone over 16 or charged with a forcible felony is automatically waived to adult court ‘and is subject to the same criminal procedures and penalties as adults,’” according to AP.
- Under Iowa law, the sentence for first-degree murder is life in prison. However, in 2016, the Iowa Supreme court ruled that judges were not allowed to impose the life sentence on offenders under the age of 18, per AP.
- If during their next trial dates Goodale and Miller are convicted as adults, they will likely serve long prison sentences, reported AP.
- If the case is moved to juvenile court, the two would be released from prison when they turned 18, which is in less than two years.
- The trial date for Goodale is Aug. 23 and Miller’s date is Nov. 1.
Social media posts point police to the offenders: Evidence from Goodale’s Snapchat messages reportedly revealed to police that Goodale and Miller were involved in the “planning, execution and disposal of evidence,” in relation to the teacher’s death, AP reported.
Remembering Nohema Graber: “To know her was to love her — she was the kind of person every community longs to have in its midst and we were blessed to have her in our lives,” said Graber’s family in a statement.
- “She lived for her children, her family and her faith. Her next priorities were her job as an educator and the children she taught, her local Parish and the Spanish-speaking community in Fairfield. The family deeply appreciates the outpouring of support during this unimaginable tragedy,” the family said, according to CBS.