116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A judge will not grant defense requests to lower the $1 million cash-only bail for two 16-year-olds charged with plotting and killing the Spanish language teacher at Fairfield High School.
Eighth Judicial District Judge Joel Yates, in his ruling Thursday, said he considered Iowa law on bail, arguments made by attorneys, the nature and circumstances of the crime charged and the family ties and financial resources of the teens, Jeremy Everett Goodale and Willard Noble Chaiden Miller.
Yates said that if bail is posted by either teen, he would be on pretrial supervision by the 8th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services. Each defendant also would be required to sign a supervision contract within 24 hours of release.
Both defense attorneys for the teens had asked for more “reasonable” bails of $100,000 to be paid either in cash, surety bond or a percentage paid to the clerk’s office. But prosecutors argued that because of the brutality and callousness of the crime, each bail should be increased to $2 million to protect the community.
Goodale and Miller pleaded not guilty Monday and both have trials set for April 19 in Jefferson County District Court. They may not be tried together, but neither of their attorneys have filed anything yet regarding severing their cases.
Both teens are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony. They are accused of scheming to kill Nohema Graber, 66, who had taught at Fairfield High since 2012. Authorities found her body Nov. 3 in Chautauqua City Park, just blocks east of the school, where she was known to go for walks.
Her body was concealed under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties. She had been hit on the head but investigators haven’t revealed if she was beaten or struck with an object.
According to court documents, the teens devised plans over social media exchanges to kill Graber, and then conceal her body in the park. Authorities wrote in court affidavits that the social media exchanges provide a motive for the killing, but they have not released that information to the public.
Family members reported Graber, who originally is from Xalapa, Mexico, as missing the morning of Nov. 3. The investigation quickly led to Goodale and Miller, according to court documents.
Fairfield police interviewed “an associate” of the teens who provided investigators with the exchanges indicating Goodale had details of the disappearance and death, according to a criminal complaint. Those details included how it would be carried out, the motive for killing the teacher and deliberate attempts to conceal the crime, court records say.
Authorities said they obtained search warrants and collected several clothing items from Goodale and Miller that appeared to contain blood.
According to a criminal complaint, when Miller was confronted by police during an interview, he admitted to being in Chautauqua City Park when Graber was killed and “providing materials utilized in committing the murder, and aiding in actions taken to conceal the murder.”
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