Teen accused of killing Fairfield teacher returns to court

Willard Miller returned to court Wednesday for a suppression hearing ahead of his trial.
Willard Miller returned to court Wednesday for a suppression hearing ahead of his trial.(Courtesy of Court TV.)
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 4:34 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -One of the Fairfield teens accused of killing his Spanish teacher returned to court Wednesday morning. Investigators say Nohema Graber was beaten with a baseball bat over a bad grade. She was last seen alive one year ago Wednesday. Her body was found in a park by the high school where she worked in Fairfield.

Willard Miller is charged with first degree murder in the slaying. Miller was in court this week on a motion to suppress. His attorney is asking for certain evidence to be excluded from the trial. That includes search warrants and information from Miller’s cell phone, particularly his Snapchat account.

Special Agent Ryan Kedley from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation testified at the hearing. He interviewed Miller following the killing.

“Given the circumstances that he was being woken up at his residence, subject to a search warrant, and transported to a law enforcement location and then speaking with two detectives from the state police, he was remarkably relaxed,” said Kedley.

A judge has not yet ruled on whether the evidence will have to be left out in Millar’s trial.

Miller’s attorney called his mother Annalisa Clifford Gold to testify at during the hearing. She agreed to allow her 16 year old son to talk to investigators, but she says they did not tell her the whole truth.

”What I was told is that all the students and parents of Nohema Graber were being rounded up to try and figure out what had happened, why she had disappeared. I understood that all the students were together and that the parents were there and that they wanted to be able to talk to the students and they needed my permission to talk to the students,” Clifford Gold said.

She claimed she was not told her son was in custody or that his teacher had been found dead.

The state argued Miller was given his Miranda rights and signed off on them.

Both Miller and his classmate Jeremy Goodale are being tried as adults in Graber’s death.