School Teacher Violently Murdered by Students After Giving Out Bad Grade, Prosecutors Say

Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale were just 16 years old last year when they allegedly killed 66-year-old woman who taught Spanish at their high school.

Spanish teacher. Now, as the teens are soon to be tried as adults, prosecutors noted on Tuesday that the motive for the killing appeared to be a response to a bad grade she gave one of the boys.

On Nov. 2, 2021, Noheme Graber, a teacher at Fairfield High School in Fairfield, Iowa, was beaten to death and her body was found the next day at a park, under some railroad ties, a wheelbarrow, and tarp, the Des Moines Register reported.

She had been killed with a baseball bat, the Register added.

One of the boys had admitted to the killing on social media, the New York Post reported.

Miller and Goodale were arrested and charged with first-degree murder. In May, District Judge Shawn Showers decided that they would be tried as adults, even though they are under 18, the New York Post reported.

On Tuesday, prosecutors filed court papers in which they claimed that a bad grade that Miller received from Graber seemed to be the driving factor.

“The poor grade is believed to be the motive behind the murder of Graber which directly connects Miller,” court documents said, the Register reported.

The documents were filed by Jefferson County Attorney Chauncey Moulding and Assistant Iowa Attorney General Scott Brown.

The documents were filed in advance of a Wednesday hearing concerning the handling of evidence and statements from Miller, the Register added.

An attorney representing Miller wants the judge to exclude comments he made to police as well as information from his cellphone and the social media platform Snapchat, according to the Register. The attorney is also seeking to invalidate four search warrants in the case, the newspaper reported.

The Register also reported that investigators revealed that Miller and Graber had met on the day of the killing to talk about his low grades.

After the discussion with Miller and the end of school, investigators reported that Graber drove to a park, according to the Register. Witnesses said that they saw Graber’s van leaving the park later.

They said two males were in the front seat, according to the Register.

After being interviewed by the police later, Miller reportedly changed his story a few times.

He initially claimed he had nothing to do with Graber’s death but did say that he was angry over his grades and the class.

However, Miller “later stated he had knowledge of everything but did not participate,” the court documents revealed, according to the Register.

Meanwhile, Goodale described the whole incident to the police, the New York Post reported.

“The details included … the motive for killing Graber, the planning and execution of the means to kill Graber, as well as deliberate attempts to conceal the crime,” the documents stated, according to the Post.

According to a Register article published Nov. 5, 2021, Graber was a well-known leader in the Latino community of Fairfield, which is about 100 miles southwest of Des Moines. A year after her death, her Facebook page remains active.

Goodale’s trial is set for Dec. 5 in Davenport, Iowa. Miller’s will begin on March 20 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Both defendants are now 17.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.