Jeremy Goodale and Willard Miller, both 17, will each face a first-degree murder charge for allegedly beating to death Fairfield High School teacher Noheme Graber, 66, on Nov. 2, 2021.
Prosecutors filed a court document Tuesday alleging a possible motive, the Des Moines Register reported.
The document, obtained by Inside Edition, was filed by prosecutors in response to motions by the defense and ahead of a Wednesday hearing when a judge will hear arguments on whether to suppress any of the evidence against teenagers Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale, both 17, who are charged with murdering high school Spanish teacher Nohema Graber, 66, in Fairfield, Iowa, last November.
Miller and Goodale will be tried as adults and each face a first-degree murder charge for allegedly beating Graber to death with a baseball bat on Nov. 2, 2021. Her body was found the next day under a tarp.
Goodale and Miller have both pleaded not guilty to the charges they face.
In Iowa, the penalty for a first-degree murder conviction is life in prison. Iowa Supreme Court rulings require juveniles convicted of even the most serious crimes to be given a chance for parole.
“The poor grade is believed to be the motive behind the murder of Graber which directly connects Miller,” the court document filed by the Jefferson county attorney, Chauncey Moulding, and assistant Iowa attorney general, Scott Brown, said.
Miller initially denied any involvement in Graber’s disappearance but “later stated he had knowledge of everything but did not participate”, according to the court document obtained by Inside Edition.
Miller told police that the real killers were a “roving group of masked kids” and they forced him to provide his wheelbarrow to help move her body and to drive her van from the park, the court document obtained by Inside Edition alleges.
Miller is scheduled for trial on March 20, 2023, in Council Bluffs, and Goodale's trial is Dec. 5, 2022, in Davenport, CBS News reported.
Inside Edition Digital has reached out to Miller’s attorney, Christine Branstad, for comment but has not heard back.
Inside Edition Digital has reached out to Goodale’s attorney, public defender Allen Cook, for comment but has not heard back.