Teens Charged in Teacher's Death Ask to Be Released to Their Parents, Plead Not Guilty

Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and Jeremy Everett Goodale, both 16, asked to go home with their parents as they pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of killing their high school Spanish teacher, the Associated Press reported.

The teens are accused of killing 66-year-old Nohema Graber, in Fairfield, Iowa. Graber's body was found concealed under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties. The teens are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Lawyers for Miller and Goodale asked the judge last week to lower their bond of $1 million so they could be released under their parents' supervision. Prosecutors said the bonds should remain at $1 million or even be raised to $2 million.

"A million-dollar cash-only bond, judge, is so far unobtainable that it essentially amounts to pretrial detention without bond," said Nicole Jensen, the state public defender appointed to represent Goodale.

The attorneys asked for house arrest and additional monitoring, citing that the teens don't have the ability or means to flee. Jensen said the most Goodale could afford to pay was around $10,000 because his father works in construction. Goodale doesn't have a passport or driver's license.

Jefferson County Attorney Chauncey Moulding previously stated there is no outside level of supervision that could guarantee the safety of the community due to the brutal nature of the crime.

Police said in court documents that they received a tip that Goodale posted the details about the plan to kill the teacher on social media. The documents indicated investigators found clothing that appeared to be stained with blood at the homes of Miller and Goodale.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Iowa Teenagers, Teacher Murder, Court
Jeremy Everett Goodale and Willard Noble Chaiden Miller, two southeast Iowa teenagers charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of their high school Spanish teacher, asked a state court judge Tuesday to lower their bond so they could be released from jail, while prosecutors asked it be maintained at $1 million or even raised to $2 million. Above, Goodale is escorted into a bond review hearing at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Fairfield, Iowa, on November 23, 2021. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Des Moines Register/AP Photo

Graber was reported missing on November 2 and her remains were found later that day at a Fairfield park where she was known to take daily walks. Earlier court filings stated that Graber suffered "inflicted trauma to the head."

Miller and Goodale waived their right to a speedy trial, which means prosecutors are not required to try them within 90 days of formal charges being filed on November 12. Both said they are being held in juvenile detention facilities.

Assistant Iowa Attorney General Scott Brown said the "extremely brutal murder of an innocent person" justifies keeping them in custody.

Miller's attorney, Christine Branstad, said research shows that detaining juveniles away from family for prolonged periods before trial can have a detrimental effect on them and stunt their development.

Judge Joel Yates indicated he would reach a decision this week.

Iowa Teenagers, Teacher Murder, Court
Jeremy Everett Goodale and Willard Noble Chaiden Miller, two southeast Iowa teenagers charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of their high school Spanish teacher, asked a state court judge Tuesday to lower their bond so they could be released from jail, while prosecutors asked it be maintained at $1 million or even raised to $2 million. Above, Miller and his attorney, Christine Branstad, attend a bond review hearing at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Fairfield, Iowa, on November 23, 2021. Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Des Moines Register/AP Photo