Two Iowa teens who brutally beat and murdered their high school Spanish teacher last year did so because of a bad grade, court documents revealed.

The motive, which was previously unknown, was finally revealed in court documents filed ahead of a Wednesday hearing, the Daily Mail reports. The judge will be hearing arguments as to whether to invalidate any of the evidence against the students, Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale, both 17, who are charged with the murder of Nohema Graber in the town of Fairfield, IA.

Miller’s lawyer is requesting that four of the search warrants be invalidated on the grounds that they were perfomed illegally. They are also requesting the suppression of evidence from Miller’s home, information taken from his cellphone and Snapchat, as well as comments he made to police.

The body of Graber was discovered on November 3, 2021 in Fairfield Park hidden under a tarp, a wheelbarrow, and railroad ties. The 66-year-old Spanish teacher had been beaten to death with a baseball bat. 

According to investigators, Miller, who was 16-years-old at the time, met up with Graber on the afternoon of November 2 to discuss his bad grade. Later in the day, Graber drove her van to a park, where it was known that she would daily walks. Her van was spotted by witnesses leaving the park within an hour, with two males in the front seat. 

The van was later discovered abandoned at the end of a rural road. A witness then received a call from Goodale and picked up the pair walking along the rural road in the direction of town. It is said that Miller and Goodale worked in concert to bring about Graber’s death.

After initially denying any involvement whatsoever in the murder, Miller eventually stated that he was forced by the real killers, a “roving group of masked kids,” to provide his wheelbarrow to transport the body and to drive the van away.

The evidence that directly implicates the two teens, screenshots of a Snapchat conversation provided by a witness in which both teen’s names are revealed as the likely killers, is being thrown into question.

A police interview with Miller in which he admited to being an accomplice to the murder, as well as a search warrent on the home of Goodale that uncovered blood-stained clothing, are also being questioned as evidence at the hearing.

The two teens are being tried as adults, which if convicted of first degree murder would result in life in prison. However, Iowa also requires that juveniles convicted of even the most heinous crimes be given the chance for parole.

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