Two high school students mercilessly beat their Spanish teacher to death with a baseball bat because of bad grades.
Nohema Graber, a high school Spanish teacher in Fairfield, Iowa, disappeared on November 2 in 2021 during her regular daily walk. The 66-year-old's badly beaten body was found the following day hidden under a tarp, railroad ties and a wheelbarrow in a local park.
Jeremy Goodale and Willard Miller, both students of Graber, were arrested and charged with the first-degree murder. However, both denied the murder charges and pleaded not guilty.
Court documents revealed that Miller met his Spanish teacher at the high school on the afternoon of the murder to discuss the low grade he had received in her class. Prosecutors say the 16-year-old allegedly told police that he was angry that Graber had given him a poor grade which was lowering his overall grade point average (GPA). Miller was also frustrated with the way Graber taught Spanish in her class.
Investigators said the teacher drove her van to a local park where went for a walk every day after work. Goodale and Miller allegedly stalked and ambushed Graber at the park, and beat her to death with a baseball bat before hiding her body. Witnesses told investigators that they saw two males driving her van away from the area about 42 minutes after the teacher had arrived. The van was later found abandoned along a rural road. Investigators said the two boys were picked up on the same road by a witness who had been called by Goodale for a lift.
Police zeroed down on the two students following a tip-off that the Goodale had boasted about killing the teacher on Snapchat. Police said the teenager connected himself and Miller by name in the murder. He detailed how they stalked Graber, killed her and then hid her body, and got rid of the evidence as well.
Moreover, Miller's home was searched wherein investigators found multiple clothing items appearing to have blood stains.
Miller Says He Didn't Participate
However, Miller said he wasn't involved in the murder. He claimed a roving group of masked kids carried out the murder and forced him to help dispose of the body. Miller, as per the court documents, said he had knowledge of everything but didn't participate in the killing. The 16-year-old even asked the judge to do away with swathes of evidence from the case, including the Snapchat conversations, information taken from his cellphone and interviews with the police.
The trial is continuing. If convicted, Miller and Goodale could life in prison.