You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Prosecutors reveal Fairfield teen charged with murder will testify against co-defendant

KTVO Kirksville/Ottumwa 3/29/2023 Maddie Lee
© Provided by KTVO Kirksville/Ottumwa

Willard Chaiden Miller, one of two teens charged with the 2021 murder of Fairfield High School Spanish teacher Nohema Graber, has made a second motion to suppress evidence against him. 

The teens allegedly beat Graber to death with a baseball bat and hid her body in Chautauqua Park, where she often went for walks.

The defense says that Miller was taken into custody without a proper arrest warrant. Therefore, any statements made at the time should be suppressed.

Jeremy Goodale, 17, and Willard Miller, 17, are now being tried separately. It was revealed in Wednesday’s hearing that Goodale will now be a witness to testify against Miller.

Miller’s defense attorney, Nathan Olsen, called Miller a “person who is aggrieved” by the seizure of evidence and statements made from Goodale.

The defense claims that there are two conflicting affidavits in the search warrant applications made for Goodale. One police officer said there was no mention of Willard Miller's name in connection to the murder from the Snapchats collected from Goodale's phone. In these Snapchats, Goodale allegedly confessed to killing Graber. A separate affidavit claims that Miller's name was mentioned in Goodale's Snapchats about the murder.

Prosecutors say that it is reasonable for Miller to “be aggrieved by the weight of the evidence against him” but, that does not give him the grounds to assert Goodale's constitutional rights on his behalf.

Jefferson County Attorney Chauncey Moulding, says that they believe the motion by the defense to suppress statements and evidence collected from Goodale’s search and seizure is an attempt to prevent Goodale from testifying against Miller.

Further arguing that Miller’s rights were violated while in custody, the defense claims that under Iowa law, Miller is considered a juvenile on the count of his charge for conspiracy. He was not afforded any of the protection juveniles are entitled to.

Moulding said that Miller and his mother signed a juvenile waiver, forfeiting his rights to the protection afforded to juveniles.

Many of these issues have already been raised and ruled against in court. The state says that raising them again “470 days after arraignment and 39 days before trial” is Miller’s attempt to “get a second bite at the apple” for suppressing evidence.

Judge Showers said that he would issue a ruling as soon as possible. The trial will move forward as planned for April 21, 2023.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon