Potential New Motive Discovered in Fairfield Teacher Murder Case
Roughly a year ago, Nohema Graber, Spanish teacher in the Fairfield, Iowa was found dead in a park near the high school where she taught. Two of her students were charged with her murder.
In March of 2022, it was revealed to the public that those two students were Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale. It's believed that the two alleged killers waited for her to walk through a park, struck her in the head with a bat, and disposed of her body in the woods by covering her with a tarp.
Over a year after the 66-year-old teacher was murdered, a motive may have finally been revealed to the public.
According to KCRG, court documents say that prosecutors are claiming the killing was "over a bad grade." The news station elaborates on the event of that day: "Investigators found that Miller met with Graber at Fairfield High School on the afternoon of Nov. 2, 2021, to discuss his poor grade in her class. Graber later drove her van to a park where she was known to take daily walks after school, authorities say. Witnesses saw her van leaving the park less than an hour later with two males in the front seat."
The documents that were shared with KCRG say that Miller's lawyer is currently trying to invalidate four search warrants that were executed by local authorities in which information was obtained from Snapchat. Miller admitted to the murder in one of the conversations that was uncovered, prosecutors say.
Per KCCI, "During an interview with investigators, Miller detailed his frustrations with Graber but told police he didn't kill her. He told law enforcement he was forced by the so-called "real killers' to hide Graber's body and help drive her van."
Christine Branstad, Miller's lawyer, claims the warrants were obtained illegally due to the fact that "law enforcement failed to provide information to the issuing magistrate to show the informant is reliable or that the information from the informant should be considered reliable.”
Miller's trial is set for March 20, 2023, in Council Bluffs, and Goodale's trial will be on December 5, 2022, in Davenport.
It was determined in May of this year that both of the young men would be tried as adults, despite the fact that they were just 16 at the time of the alleged murders. They're being tried for first-degree murder, which would result in a lifetime prison sentence.