(Fairfield, Iowa)– Two high school students are facing murder charges after killing a teacher over a bad grade.
Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale who are now both 16 years old, stood in court on Wednesday for the November 2, 2021 murder of Nohema Graber.
Graber was reported missing after she did not return from her after-school walk in the park.
She was later discovered beaten to death and left at the end of a road in a rural part of town.
While investigating Graber’s murder, authorities learned that two teenagers had been seen driving her vehicle away from the park.
Officials also were told that Miller and another teenager were picked up from the same rural area where Graber was discovered.
When investigators questioned Miller regarding Graber’s death, Miller admitted to being present for the murder but denied participating in it.
Miller claimed that Graber was kidnapped by a gang of masked teenagers and that the same group forced him to help dispose of the body and her van.
After getting a warrant to search Miller’s home and phone, authorities discovered that Miller was frustrated about receiving a failing grade in Graber’s Spanish class and communicated with Goodale regarding Graber’s murder.
Officials also found several bloodstained items in Miller’s possession.
Both teenagers have been charged with first-degree murder and will be tried as adults.
They could face up to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
Goodale’s trial will begin on Dec. 5, and Miller’s trial is scheduled for March 20.