Iowa Teens Accused of Killing Spanish Teacher with Baseball Bat Will Be Tried as Adults, Judge Rules
Two Iowa teenagers accused of murdering their high school Spanish teacher with a baseball bat will be tried as adults after a judge rejected their requests to move their cases to juvenile court, PEOPLE confirms.
Jefferson County court records confirm Jeremy Goodale, 17, and Willard Miller, 16, both had their requests for reverse waivers denied this week by Judge Shawn Showers. Both teens are charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit forcible felony, online court records show.
The pair is accused of using a baseball bat last year to murder Nohema Graber, their Spanish teacher at Fairfield High School, the Des Moines Register reports.
Prosecutors have alleged the two students stalked the teacher and learned her daily routines, and then ambushed Graber on her daily walk, the Associated Press reports.
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The pair allegedly dragged Graber into the woods, and then returned to the scene to hide her body. She was reported missing on Nov. 2; her body was found the next day under a tarp, wheelbarrow and railroad ties, a criminal complaint against the suspects obtained by the Des Moines Register states.
Prosecutors have not discussed a motive.
In rejecting Miller's request, the judge said there wouldn't be enough time to rehabilitate Miller in juvenile court "for a crime of such magnitude," reports the Associated Press.
Miller's attorney, Christine Branstad, tells PEOPLE: "It is my ongoing request that readers refrain from drawing conclusions until all the details come to light."
Both suspects have pleaded not guilty, KWLL reports. PEOPLE was not immediately able to reach Goodale's attorney, Allen Cook.