Joseph Elie asks for change of venue, blames story outlining criminal history

RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Joseph Michael Elie, 41, the man convicted of manslaughter in the 1994 beating and stabbing death of 82-year-old Rita Rabalais, who was arrested again back in January for allegedly beating his pregnant girlfriend and setting a house on fire, is asking for a judge to grant a change of venue.

Joseph Michael Elie, III (Source: APD)

That motion for a change of venue applies to that latest battery and arson case, as well as one for drug and firearm possession. A trial date for the drug and firearm possession case had been set for November, but Elie never showed up. The trial date has since been reset for April 8.

In a handwritten letter, Elie asks a Rapides Parish judge to consider changing venue due to a News Channel 5 investigation that laid out all of his prior convictions and why he was released from prison.

Elie said the piece by News Channel 5 was promoting him "as a treat [sic] to society."

That motion will be heard before Judge Mary Doggett on March 6.

To see our prior story on Elie, click on the "Related Links" section of this page.

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