More information regarding two white Iowa teenagers who allegedly killed their Spanish teacher last fall at a local park has emerged. Authorities say the couple assaulted the instructor with a baseball bat, and one of them posted details of the crime on social media for their classmates to see.
According to the Des Moines Register, on Tuesday, March 2, Judge Shawn Showers scheduled the trials of the two 16-year-olds charged with first-degree murder in the death of Nohema Graber, a teacher at Fairfield High School.
The trials will now take place almost a year after the 66-year-old’s murder.
Showers will hear the case against Jeremy Goodale on August 23 and against Willard Miller on November 1.
Goodale and Miller have been in custody since Graber’s body was discovered Wednesday, Nov. 3, in Chautauqua Park in Fairfield, hidden under a cluster of railroad ties, a tarp and a wheelbarrow.
Some details of the search warrant that were sealed by the judge until this week reiterated preliminary findings, including that the boys stalked, “ambushed” and “inflicted trauma” on Graber.
The revelations came to light thanks to a friend of Goodale’s who showed police Snapchat posts where the teens bragged about “planning, executing and disposing of evidence”.
One of the messages described where Graber’s car was parked, where his body was, and how they covered their tracks.
Records show police reviewed footage from the day of the murder showing the teacher’s car leaving Fairfield High School and arriving at the park around 4pm on November 2. It also showed the car leaving the park around a quarter to 5 p.m. A van is seen following Graber’s car.
Around midnight, a passerby observed a man bringing a wheelbarrow to the park. Miller admitted to officers that he brought the wheelbarrow from his home.
The defense requested that the documents containing information about the case be resealed.
Judge Showers also denied a request by lawyers for the young men to rule on a motion challenging certain incriminating evidence before proceeding with a hearing to decide whether the boys should be tried in the juvenile system or in adult court.
Additionally, he denied the defense’s request not to allow media and the public to view a hearing at the venue where the case will be tried.
Defense representation appealed both rulings and argued that the prosecution should have perimeters on the evidence used, as part of its argument against trying the boys in adult court.
Jefferson County District Attorney Chauncey Molding said in December, “Due to the nature of the allegations, the undersigned submits that there can be no reasonable prospect of the child’s reentry into the juvenile justice system until the accused reaches the age of 18 and leaves this system. ”
“Such an outcome would be outside the interests of the miner and the community as a whole,” he added.
“This prosecutor cannot imagine any combination of programs in an Iowa juvenile facility that could appropriately treat or rehabilitate the defendant if tried as a juvenile.”
In the state of Iowa, the crime committed falls under statutory exclusion, which states that “designated offenses committed by a child 16 years of age or older shall be excluded from the jurisdiction of juvenile court and prosecuted in court for adults”.
In response, Showers decided to delay the hearing and both cases, making way for the Iowa Supreme Court to rule on the decision.
If the boys were tried and convicted of murder as adults, they would not be sentenced to natural life. In 2016, the Iowa Supreme Court barred judges from imposing life sentences without parole on offenders under the age of 18.
Although a lot of new information has come to light in this case, one piece of the puzzle remains unclear, a motive.