JEFFERSON COUNTY, Iowa (IOWA'S NEWS NOW) — The 16-year-old Fairfield High School student who investigators say admits to being present while another student killed a teacher, then assisting with the hiding of her body is asking for his bond to be lowered - and has hired a Des Moines-based lawyer for his defense.
Willard Miller, who goes by his middle name Chaiden, is being held in the Jefferson County Jail on $1 million bond for his alleged involvement in the November 2 murder of Nohema Graber. The 66-year-old was found dead in a city park in Fairfield on November 3. Miller and Jeremy Goodale, 16, are both charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the case. Criminal complaints point to Goodale as carrying out the murder itself - with Miller as his accomplice.
Court filings from Monday morning show Christine Branstad of Branstad and Olson Law Office out of Des Moines is now representing Miller in the case. There are no similar filings for Goodale. Branstad has also field a request for a bond hearing on Miller's behalf - requesting that the court "releases Miller on his own recognizance through a pretrial release program" or by "significantly" lowering his bond. The filing cites Miller's lack of past criminal or disciplinary records as rationale for the request. It also says Miller would be willing to be under family/GPS monitoring, have constant adult supervision, and submit to psychological and substance abuse evaluations.
Both suspects are scheduled to be back in court on Friday.