July 15 – FAIRFIELD – Citing major pre-trial publicity, a teenager accused in the death of a high school Spanish teacher is asking that his trial be moved.
Lawyers for Jeremy Everett Goodale, 17, filed the motion in court Thursday. Goodale’s co-defendant, Willard Noble Caiden Miller, 16, had already secured a change of venue for his trial.
The court has yet to rule on Goodale’s motion, but is expected to grant it based on an earlier decision to move Miller’s trial and an earlier decision acknowledging it was understood that the case will not would not be judged at Fairfield.
Goodale and Miller were charged last November with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder after the body of 66-year-old Nohema Graber was found battered and hidden in a city park in Fairfield. Graber was a Spanish teacher at Fairfield High School, where the teenagers were students. Under Iowa law, because they were 16 at the time, the teenagers were charged as adults. Both lost an attempt to send the case to juvenile court. They face life in prison, but due to their age, they would have the option of parole if found guilty.
Young people are judged separately. Miller’s trial is currently set to begin Nov. 1 in Council Bluffs. Goodale’s trial has been set for August 23, but his location has yet to be set.
Prosecutors say the teens tracked down Graber then beat her to death with a baseball bat before hiding her body under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties.
Miller’s attorneys are preparing to challenge evidence that prosecutors plan to use on various constitutional grounds at an upcoming hearing scheduled for September 1. The next scheduled hearing for Goodale is a pre-trial on August 1.
Kyle Ocker is editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at koc[email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.