Iowa: Young man sentenced to life in prison for beating his Spanish teacher to death

Jeremy Goodale murdered his teacher over a low grade that prevented his friend from participating in a study abroad program.

An Iowa judge sentenced Jeremy Goodale, a young man accused of beating his high school Spanish teacher to death, to life in prison. The crime happened in 2021. That year, Nohema Graber, a 66-year-old teacher at Fairfield High School, gave a bad grade to Willard Miller, a friend who also pleaded guilty to the murder. That prevented Miller from participating in a study abroad program and therefore incited both of them to commit the crime.

In the murder, NBC explains, both young men used a baseball bat. They struck Graber with it after chasing and harassing her as she was taking her daily walk in a large park located in Fairfield, a small Iowa town about 100 miles southwest of Des Moines.

Goodale pleaded guilty to murdering his teacher

Earlier this year, both Miller and Goodale pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of Graber. This, along with the analysis of more than twenty additional factors, could be the reasons why Iowa Magistrate Shawn Showers finally sentenced the man to life in prison but with the possibility of requesting parole in 25 years.

Jeremy Goodale said he was deeply sorry for what happened. Minutes before hearing the judge's sentence, the young man apologized to Nohema Graber's family as well as the community, the high school and his own family:

I’m sorry, truly sorry. What I’ve taken can never be replaced. Every day I wish I could go back and stop myself, prevent this loss and this pain that I’ve caused everyone.

Showers sentenced the other person responsible for the murder, Willard Miller, to life in prison in June of this year. As he did with Goodale, the judge allowed the accused to request parole, although not for 35 years because he was the main person responsible for the crime.