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Shooting case bound over to circuit court

Victim testifies during latest court hearing

By: Maria Allard | Advertiser Times | Published December 28, 2015

 Rachael Paluch

Rachael Paluch

HARPER WOODS — A 42-year-old Detroit man who was shot in the leg in October faced his alleged attacker when he testified during a court hearing Dec. 16 in 32-A District Court.

Yoland Crosby took the stand during a preliminary examination in the case against 25-year-old Harper Woods resident Rachael Paluch, who is accused of firing one shot that hit him in the leg just after midnight Oct. 17.

Paluch was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm, felonious assault and felony firearm. Paluch did not testify at the court hearing.

Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Jane Gillis prosecuted the case in 32-A District Court. After hearing Crosby’s testimony — which visiting Judge Gail McKnight called “thoughtful” — McKnight bound over Paluch for an arraignment at 9 a.m. Dec. 30 in 3rd Circuit Court in Detroit. 

According to Crosby’s testimony, he and two friends went to Paluch’s residence on Roscommon at around 11 p.m. or midnight Oct. 16, where she had two friends visiting. Crosby said he did not know Paluch, but one of his friends knew one of her friends. Paluch’s two small children and another young child of one of her friends were in the home too.

Once inside the house, Crosby said, he introduced himself and claimed that Paluch began to make negative comments about his teeth. 

“She said something about my teeth. I said something about what she was wearing,” Crosby said. “We had a few words back and forth. It was back-and-forth nagging.”

Everyone then agreed it was time to call it a night.

“(Paluch) said, ‘Get your friends, it’s time for you to leave,’” Crosby stated.  

He said that he, his friends and Paluch’s two friends left the house and stood on the porch talking. That’s when, according to Crosby, Paluch flung open the screen door. Crosby testified that he couldn’t see what was in Paluch’s hand. 

“I heard a gunshot. I saw a shot from a gun. I saw a spark by the door,” he said, before Paluch  “slammed back in the house.”

“We proceeded to go to the car and into the street,” Crosby testified. “But then my leg gave out and I knew I was hit.”

Crosby’s friends took him to nearby St. John Hospital on Moross.

“They kept me there two hours,” he said. “It was a bullet wound through the leg. It entered (above) my knee. It entered through the front and came out the back.”

According to a police report released at, Harper Woods Public Safety Department officers responded to the house at 12:34 a.m. Oct. 17 on a report of a man shot and lying in the street. 

According to police, detectives subsequently recovered a Bushmaster assault rifle from Paluch’s residence. However, it has not been determined if the bullet came from the rifle because the single bullet fired at Crosby has not been found. 

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Cecil St. Pierre, Crosby said he had been to his sister’s house earlier in the evening, where he consumed three 12-ounce beers. He also said he smoked marijuana at the defendant’s house. 

St. Pierre said his client fired one “warning shot” because Crosby and his two friends would not leave her residence, and the warning shot hit him in the leg.

“Ms. Paluch has told you to leave the premises. You’re not leaving. You’re standing there talking,” St. Pierre said. “My client (wanted) to protect her house and to protect her children.”

Paluch’s $30,000 cash/surety bond was continued.