Two Iowa teenagers murdered their high school Spanish teacher last year over despair over poor grades, prosecutors said Tuesday in court documents that reveal a possible motive for the first time.
The documents were filed ahead of a hearing on Wednesday where a judge will hear arguments on whether to suppress any evidence.and Jeremy Goodell, who is accused of murdering a high school Spanish teacher In the small town of Fairfield.
A lawyer for Miller is asking the court in Fairfield to invalidate four search warrants and suppress evidence from Miller’s home, comments made to police and information taken from his cellphone and social media platform Snapchat.
Graber’s body was found in Fairfield Park on November 3, 2021, hidden under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties. He was beaten to death with a baseball bat. Miller and Goodell were 16 at the time.
Fairfield is a city of about 9,400 people about 100 miles from Des Moines.
Investigators found that Miller met Graber at Fairfield High School on the afternoon of November 2, 2021, to discuss her poor grades in her class. Officials say Graeber later took her van to a park where she was known to take daily walks after school. Witnesses saw his van leaving the park less than an hour later, with two men in the front seat.
The van was abandoned at the end of a rural road. Investigators say that after receiving a call from Goodell, a witness later picked up Goodell and Miller while walking down that road toward town.
In a police interview, Miller described his frustrations with the way Grabber taught Spanish and the way the grades in his class lowered his GPA.
“Poor grades are believed to be the motive behind Graber’s murder in a way that directly links Miller,” said court documents filed by Jefferson County Attorney Chancey Molding and Assistant Iowa Attorney General Scott Brown.
According to court documents, Miller initially denied any involvement in Graber’s disappearance, but “later said he had knowledge of everything, but did not participate.” She told police that the real killers – “a roaming group of masked children” – forced her to move their bodies and provide their wheelbarrows to help them drive their vans out of the park.
The documents state that a witness provided photos of the Snapchat conversation “which identify Goodell’s admission that he acted in concert with another person to lead to Graber’s death.” The witness identified Goodell as making statements that implicate both Goodell and Miller by name.
Miller’s attorney, Christine Branstad, says the search warrants were issued illegally in part because “law enforcement failed to provide the issuing magistrate with information to show that the informant was credible or that the informant’s information was credible.” to be supposed.”
Miller is scheduled for trial on March 20 at Council Bluffs, and Goodell’s trial is in Davenport on December 5.
Now both 17-year-olds will be prosecuted as adults. In Iowa, the punishment for first-degree murder is life in prison. Iowa Supreme Court rulings require juveniles convicted of the most serious crimes have the chance of parole.
According to the school’s website, Graber, 66, had been a Spanish teacher at Fairfield High School since 2012.
Graeber’s family said in a statement after her death, “To know Nohema was to love her – she was the kind of person every community wanted to have and we were blessed to have her in our lives.” “She lived for her children, her family, and her faith. Her next priorities were her job as a teacher and the children she taught, her local parish and the Spanish-speaking community in Fairfield.”