116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The second of two teens charged with killing a Fairfield High School Spanish teacher last month has asked a judge to move his case to juvenile court, where he would face a dramatically lighter sentence if convicted.
Defense attorneys for Jeremy Everett Goodale, 16 when charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the Nov. 2 killing, have requested to transfer his case to juvenile court. Attorneys for Willard Noble Chaiden Miller, who is also charged with murder in the case, made the same request last week.
In their motion, Goodale’s attorneys make an argument similar to that of Miller’s attorneys — that the juvenile court should have “exclusive original jurisdiction in proceedings concerning a child.”
Iowa law allows a transfer to adult court for teenagers over 16 charged with forcible felonies “upon motion and for good cause.”
District Court Judge Shawn Showers has set a Jan. 27 hearing on the request at the Jefferson County District Court in Fairfield.
Jefferson County Chauncey Moulding filed a resistance to Miller’s attorney’s request; but a resistance has not yet been filed in Goodale’s case.
“Because of the nature of the allegations … there could be no reasonable prospects for rehabilitating the child in the juvenile court system before the defendant turns 18 and ‘ages out’ of that system,” he said in response to Miller’s case. If processed in juvenile court, Moulding said the adult court would lose jurisdiction and “justice would not be done.”
Juveniles found guilty of a serious offense in juvenile court are typically sent to a training school or residential facility and released at age 18.
Earlier this month, 8th Judicial District Judge Joel Yates denied requests from both teens to lower their $1 million cash-only bail. Both Goodale and Miller have pleaded not guilty with trials set to start April 19.
They are accused of killing 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.
Court documents allege the teens schemed to kill her via social media and concealed her body in the park. Authorities wrote in court affidavits that the motive for the killing is documented in their social media exchanges, but have not released that information to the public.
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