Iowa teens plead guilty in killing of high school Spanish teacher over bad grade

April 18 (UPI) — Two Iowa teens on Tuesday pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the 2021 killing of their high school Spanish teacher.

The body of 66-year-old Nohema Graber was discovered hidden under a tarp and wheelbarrow in Fairfield Park on Nov. 3, 2021.

Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale, who were 16 at the time of the slaying, separately withdrew not-guilty pleas on Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Miller was upset about a poor grade in Graber’s high school Spanish class and that he recruited Goodale to help kill her with a baseball bat.

In his testimony, Goodale admitted that Miller purchased the bat used in the crime and recruited him to help in the killing and cover-up.

According to his testimony, Goodale stood guard while Miller beat Graber with a baseball bat. Goodale eventually noticed that Graber was still alive and proceeded to beat her with the bat himself until she died, authorities said.

Iowa Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown said Goodale had cooperated with prosecutors and that he would ask for a minimum sentence of 25 years to life as opposed to the 30 years to life that he will recommend for Miller.

The fact that both defendants were 16 at the time of the crime has spared them from the mandatory life sentence they could have faced had they been older.

Had Miller not entered a guilty plea, his trial would have started on Friday.

No date has been set for sentencing for either Goodale or Miller.

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