An Iowa district court judge on Wednesday ruled that a 17-year-old, accused of helping another high schooler beat their 66-year-old Spanish teacher to death in November 2021, should be tried as an adult.

Jeremy Goodale faces first-degree murder for the death of Nohema Graber, who taught at Fairfield High School.

The juvenile system can only keep 19-year-olds for six months, which influenced the ruling to deny the request to move the case to juvenile court.

“The juvenile court’s dwindling time to rehabilitate the defendant is simply insufficient for a crime of such magnitude based on the nature of the offenses described in the minutes of testimony,” Eighth Judicial District Judge Shawn Showers wrote.

The court has not ruled on the status of Willard Miller, the other teen charged with murder.

Graber’s body was found hidden under a tarp, a wheelbarrow and railroad ties at a local park. Police said Graber had been beaten to death with a baseball bat.

Both Goodale and Miller were 16 years old at the time of Graber's death. If convicted as adults, they face life in prison without parole.

Goodale's attorney has argued that he would be a good candidate for rehabilitation.