The two Fairfield teenagers accused of killing a Spanish teacher in 2021 pleaded guilty in a court hearing on Tuesday.
Both Jeremy Goodale, 18, and Willard Miller, 17, initially pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The two were accused of beating 66-year-old Nohema Graber to death with a baseball bat while she was walking in Chautauqua Park in Fairfield. Both of the accused were 16 at the time of the murder. Investigators say Goodale and Miller concealed her body under a tarp, wheelbarrow, and railroad ties.
In Tuesday’s court hearing, both teens pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. Per the plea deal, the conspiracy to commit murder charge was dismissed.
Prosecutors are recommending Miller be sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison. Goodale is recommended to serve a minimum sentence of 25 years. The teens will be sentenced at a later date.
Miller and Goodale will be eligible for parole after serving their minimum sentences. Since the two were juveniles at the time of the murder, their sentences must include the possibility of parole according to a 2016 ruling from the Iowa Supreme Court.