Washington Evening Journal
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Defense asks for continuance in Fairfield murder case
FAIRFIELD — The defense team representing Chaiden Miller of Fairfield has asked for a delay in his trial.
Miller is one of two Fairfield teens charged with murdering Fairfield High School Spanish teacher Nohema Graber in November 2021. Miller’s attorney, Christine Branstad, filed a motion Monday, Jan. 16 asking for a continuance in his trial, scheduled for March 20 in Council Bluffs.
Branstad argued that she needed more time to review deposition transcripts, complete discovery review and prepare for trial. She also wrote in her motion that she has an “unanticipatedly busy” schedule, with seven jury trials and one non-jury trial from early January through early March.
Judge Shawn Showers set a date of Jan. 27 for a hearing on Brandstad’s motion to continue the trial.
Both Miller and another Fairfield teen named Jeremy Goodale are charged as adults with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony in the slaying of Nohema Graber, 66, on Nov. 2, 2021.
No motive for the crime had been released but court documents filed before a suppression hearing in November revealed Miller told investigators he was upset about receiving bad grades in Graber’s class and was worried it would lower his GPA.
His mother, during the hearing, admitted her son was struggling in the class. In his other classes, he received A’s and B’s.
According to a search warrant unsealed in March 2022, Miller told investigators he provided a wheelbarrow used to hide Graber’s body. A witness who lived near the park where Graber’s body was found told police he saw a male pushing a wheelbarrow toward the park about midnight Nov. 2, 2021.
The teens schemed over social media to kill Graber, who had taught at Fairfield High since 2012, according to court documents.
They monitored her routine before ambushing her on her daily walk in the park, killing her with a baseball bat and later hiding her body, according to court documents.
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