Goodale and his friend Willard Miller, now 18, pleaded guilty in April to first-degree murder in the April 2021 death of Nohema Graber, a 66-year-old Spanish teacher who was killed while walking. in his regular walk. in the city of Fairfield.
In July, Miller was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving 35 years in prison.
Judge Shawn Showers, who also handed down the previous sentence, agreed to the sentence requested by prosecutors. Goodale’s attorney asked for a life sentence with no mandatory minimum sentence before he becomes eligible for parole.
Both students were prosecuted as adults, but because of their age they are not subject to Iowa’s requirement that those convicted of first-degree murder serve a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole.
Words of regret from the student who killed his teacher
Before being sentenced, Goodale apologized to the teacher’s family, the community and his own family.
“I’m sorry, I really am. What I’ve done is irreplaceable,” Goodale said, speaking at times between sobs. “Every day I wish I could go back and stop, avoid this loss and this pain I’ve caused everyone.”
Judge Shawn Showers reviewed the 25 factors he had to weigh before handing down his sentence.
He said Goodale was clearly remorseful and did not consider the ramifications of killing Graber, but noted that the teenager was an intelligent person who could have easily prevented it from happening.
They killed the teacher by hitting him with a baseball bat
Prosecutors said Goodale and Miller were 16 when they decided to kill Graber because of bad grades.
According to prosecutors, Miller first suggested the two kill Graber after worrying that his poor grades would prevent him from participating in a study abroad program.
The two students harassed and ambushed him as he walked daily in a large park in Fairfield, a small town in Iowa located 100 miles southeast of Des Moines.
Graber’s body was found in a Fairfield park on November 3, 2021, hidden under a tarp, a wheelbarrow and some railroad ties. He was beaten to death with a baseball bat.
Authorities say the young men bragged about the killing in “extremely graphic” Snapchat messages.
Graber was born in Xalapa, Mexico. After graduating high school, he worked as a flight attendant and later earned his commercial airline pilot’s license. After marriage, she moved to Fairfield in 1992 and later earned a teaching certificate. She has worked at the Fairfield school since 2012. Her husband, Paul Graber, died of cancer after the death of his wife. The couple has three children.
“Why? What did he do to them?”: unrest in Iowa after the indictment of two young people for the murder of a Mexican teacher