Trial set for Iowa teen accused of teacher’s beating death

Aug 31, 2022, 8:58 PM | Updated: Sep 1, 2022, 9:08 am
FILE - Willard Miller listens during a reverse waiver hearing, Friday, May 6, 2022, at the Jefferso...

FILE - Willard Miller listens during a reverse waiver hearing, Friday, May 6, 2022, at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Fairfield, Iowa. On Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, Miller, an Iowa teenager charged with murder in the death of 66-year-old Nohema Graber, a southeast Iowa high school Spanish teacher, learned that his trial date has been set for March 20, 2023. Another student, Jeremy Everett Goodale, is also charged with murder in Graber's death. (Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via AP, File)

(Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via AP, File)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A trial for a 17-year-old charged with murder in the death of a southeast Iowa high school Spanish teacher has been set for March 20.

A judge on Thursday set the trial date for Willard Miller, who is charged with first-degree murder in the beating death of 66-year-old Nohema Graber. Another student, Jeremy Everett Goodale, also is charged with murder in Graber’s death.

Judge Shawn Showers had previously set the location for Miller’s trial in Council Bluffs, about 200 miles (322 kilometers) west of Fairfield, where Graber’s body was found in a park last November. Graber, a Spanish teacher at Fairfield High School, had been beaten to death with a baseball bat.

The judge also set a hearing date for Nov. 2 in Fairfield for Miller. His attorney is seeking to keep jurors from hearing certain evidence police gathered during their investigation.

The judge earlier had moved Goodale’s trial about 80 miles (128 kilometers) east from Fairfield to Davenport. It is set to begin Dec. 5.

Both teens will be tried as adults. In Iowa the penalty for a first-degree murder conviction is life in prison. However, Iowa Supreme Court rulings require juveniles convicted of even the most serious crimes to be given a chance for parole.

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Trial set for Iowa teen accused of teacher’s beating death