Grand Rapids man arrested for beating death of Joel Battaglia in 1990

Grand Rapids man arrested for beating death of Joel Battaglia in 1990

A Grand Rapids man has been arrested for beating a young man to death on Lake Drive SE more than two decades ago, officials confirmed.

Police said 56-year-old Aurelias Jualious Marshall was booked into the Kent County Jail on Thursday, December 18, on an open murder charge. He was arrested in November on a felony perjury charge, but was released after he posted a $200,000 bond.

Police say Marshall was among three other people, including his brother, who lied to investigators about a probe into the murder of 23-year-old Joel Battaglia on June 11, 1990.

Battaglia was about to begin classes in a teaching curriculum at Aquinas College. He left Eastown-based Mulligan's Pub at around 1:45 a. m. on June 11, 1990. Not long after, his body was found severely injured in front of Trinity United Methodist Church. He died a few hours later. A medical examiner said a multiple blunt force trauma to his head was the cause of his death.

Battaglia's parents said they were thankful to the detectives and prosecutors who never let the case die.

When contacted, Gail Battaglia said, "I'm so grateful to the detectives who worked on this, so diligently, who believed they could find an answer and also to Bill Forsyth, the prosecutor, who never let this case die."

Marshall is currently being held without bond in the Kent County Jail, pending arraignment this Friday for open murder.

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