One of the teenagers accused of beating a Spanish teacher to death with a baseball bat is scheduled to testify against his co-defendant, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
“The case against Mr. Miller and Mr. Goodale has been severed,” Jefferson County prosecutor Chauncey Molding told the court. “They were to be tried separately, and subsequently Mr. Goodale filed state evidence and will be listed as a witness against Mr. Miller.”
This came during an evidence suppression hearing against Willard Noble Chaiden Miller, 17. Authorities allege that he and Jeremy Everett Goodale, 17, assaulted teacher Nohama Graber on their usual stroll through Chautauqua Park in Fairfield, Iowa. The alleged motive is that Graber gave Miller a bad grade.
No plea deal was announced. Goodale’s attorney, Allen Cook, declined to comment when Law&Crime called.
According to police, the deceased woman was found “hidden under a tarpaulin, a wheelbarrow and railway ties”. In an interview with agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Miller allegedly admitted that he had provided the wheelbarrow from home. A witness allegedly told police he saw a wheelbarrow being pushed down a city street just before midnight on November 2, 2021.
According to the documents, a witness also told investigators that some items related to the murder were taken by the defendants and kept at Goodale’s home. On Nov. 4, 2021, police said they recovered clothing, strands of hair, bath towels and two baseball bats – all believed to be important evidence in the case – from Goodale’s home.
Miller and Goodale were 16 at the time of Graber’s death, but they are scheduled to stand trial as adults.
Miller’s defense attempted to quash his statements to law enforcement, saying, for example, that he was not granted an attorney at the time of his questioning. Molding claimed the teenager voluntarily spoke to authorities with his mother’s signed permission.
As previously reported, court documents allege that a witness who knew Goodale showed law enforcement the defendant’s Snapchat messages, which revealed that Goodale and Miller were “involved in the planning, execution and disposal of evidence” in connection with the death of her teacher. According to the search warrant, the Snapchat messages reflect how the duo monitored Graber, explaining exactly how she was killed, where her body was dumped and how the evidence was withheld.
The court documents provide a timeline of the victim’s final moments and the immediate aftermath. Graber apparently parked her car in the park around 4 p.m. on the day of her death. Their car exited the park’s lot approximately 42 minutes later, followed by a pickup truck.
“To know Nohema was to love her — she was the kind of person every community yearns for in its midst, and we were blessed to have her in our lives,” her family said in a statement, according to CBS News. “She lived for her children, her family and her faith. Her next priorities were her work as an educator and the children she taught, her local church and the Spanish speaking community in Fairfield. The family deeply appreciates the tremendous support during this unimaginable tragedy.”
Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/17-year-old-charged-with-murdering-spanish-teacher-will-testify-against-co-defendant-prosecutor/ Jeremy Goodale to testify against Willard Miller: Prosecutor