FAIRFIELD, Iowa — The second teen accused of killing a Fairfield High School Spanish teacher will also be tried as an adult, according to a ruling from the judge in the case.
Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the November 2021 death of 66-year-old Nohema Graber. Her body was found in a city park after she was reported missing and officials say she died from trauma to the head.
Miller and Goodale were both 16 at the time of the crime. Per Iowa law, juveniles 16 and older are automatically charged as adults for crimes that are forcible felonies — like first-degree murder.
Both teens sought to have their trials moved to the juvenile court system and earlier this week Judge Shawn Showers ruled in Goodale’s case, denying his request.
Thursday, Miller’s request was also denied. In Judge Showers’ ruling, he noted that many people spoke highly of Miller and said he was a caring and empathetic person.
“Such statements support a conclusion that Defendant has the potential for rehabilitation. However, the juvenile court simply has too little time to rehabilitate the Defendant for a crime of such magnitude and of the nature described in the minutes of testimony,” Showers stated in the ruling.
Miller’s trial has been scheduled for November 1, 2022. A location has not yet been determined.
The defendants are being tried separately. Goodale’s trial has been set for August 23.