Judge denies Miller’s motion for ‘Franks hearing’ and motion to suppress

Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and his attorney Christine Branstad attend a bond review hearing...
Willard Noble Chaiden Miller and his attorney Christine Branstad attend a bond review hearing at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Fairfield, Iowa, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021. Jeremy Everett Goodale and Willard Noble Chaiden Miller, two southeast Iowa teenagers charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the death of their high school Spanish teacher, asked a state court judge Tuesday to lower their bond so they could be released from jail, while prosecutors asked it be maintained at $1 million or even raised to $2 million.(Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Des Moines Register via AP)
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:58 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FAIRFIELD, Iowa (KCRG) - A judge has ruled against two motions of one of the teenagers accused of murdering a Fairfield teacher back in November 2021.

Willard Miller filed a motion back in March 2022 to suppress physical evidence seized by law enforcement from his home in November 2021 and suppress statements Miller made to law enforcement during an interrogation that same day.

Miller and his attorneys argued that Miller’s mother was not informed of the severity of the crime he was charged with when police presented her with a juvenile waiver. His attorneys argued that the warrant for his phone was overbroad and failed to establish a sufficient enough reason for the search of his phone, and therefore the search and seizure of it violated his state and federal constitutional rights.

Lastly, Miller argued that law enforcement’s interrogation occurred with Miller’s parents present and without Miller being told the reason for his arrest.

In their ruling on the motion to suppress statements Miller made, the judge stated that “...as the Defendant was being held on suspicion of participation in a homicide, the juvenile protections regarding parental notification do not apply, and that the Defendant knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived his Miranda rights.”

In their ruling on the requested “Franks hearing” the judge noted that “in order to be entitled to a “Franks hearing,” a defendant must show that law enforcement included a false statement knowingly and intentionally, or with reckless disregard for the truth, in the search warrant affidavit....the Court finds that he has failed to make the substantial preliminary showing of falsity.”