Brother of Battaglia suspect: “I’m tired of living with a lie”

Acey Marshall in court (left) and a mug shot of Aurelias Marshall (right).


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The brother of a suspect charged in a cold case murder testified against him Tuesday, saying he witnessed the deadly beating.

Acey Marshall faces a perjury charge for lying to police to protect his brother, Aurelias Marshall, who is charged with murdering Joel Battaglia during a 1990 robbery in the East Hills neighborhood.

A photo of Joel Battaglia. (Courtesy photo)
(A courtesy photo of Joel Battaglia)

At one point, Acey Marshall said another man was responsible for Battaglia’s murder. However, it was discovered that man was in jail when the murder happened.

During a preliminary hearing for his brother Tuesday morning, Acey Marshall changed his story. He admitted he drove up to the scene and saw his brother beating Battaglia, hitting him repeatedly in the face.

He also said another man charged with perjury in the case — Malcom Jeffries — was hitting Battaglia.

When asked by the Kent County prosecutor about what made him change his mind and come forward, Acey Marshall replied that he was “tired of living with a lie.”

But he said telling police Aurelias was involved wasn’t easy “because he’s my brother.”

More testimony was heard Tuesday afternoon, after which Aurelias Marshall was bound over to stand trial. Denied bond, he will remain in the Kent County jail. His next court date has not yet been scheduled.

Acey Marshall has waived his preliminary hearing on the perjury case, sending his case to trial, as well.

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