June 14, 2024


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Clinton Township restaurant owner charged in wife’s slaying | Cops and Courts

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As the owner of an well-known Italian restaurant was charged in his wife’s death Wednesday, plans were in the works to honor the victim’s memory.

Joseph Jim Palleschi was arraigned on one count of open murder in 41B District Court for the weekend fatal shooting of Karen Barr Palleschi. He is being held in the Macomb County Jail in Mount Clemens.

During his arraignment, Palleschi, 55, sat with his arms folded in front of him as attorney Jeffrey Davis waived a reading of the charges and entered a not guilty plea for him. 

Davis asked Magistrate Ryan Zemke to give Palleschi bond, citing his long ties to the community and the fact that he serves as a caretaker for his 88-year-old father.

Zemke noted the “nature of the offense” against Palleschi as he set bond at $500,000. If Palleschi is able to post the bond, he would be fitted with a GPS tether and be placed on house arrest, being allowed to leave only for medical visits.

Palleschi is the co-owner of Villa Restaurant on Gratiot Avenue, north of Eight Mile Road, in Eastpointe.

karen palleschi

Karen Palleschi 

According to Clinton Township police, officers were dispatched about 2:40 a.m. Saturday to a report of shots fired at a two-story home on Vincenzia Drive at Monticello, in the Terra Bella subdivision near 18 Mile and Garfield roads in Clinton Township.  

When officers arrived, they found the wife deceased lying in an area between the kitchen and garage. Investigators said it appeared she had been shot once in the head.

The husband did not flee and surrendered to officers. Police said it appears alcohol was a factor in the incident.

The couple have three grown sons.

Karen Palleschi, 53, had worked for Mary Kay and Medical Weight Loss Clinic 

Lynne Fiscelli knew her from their days as Mary Kay sales directors. She said a group of directors are in the process of planning a candlelight ceremony to honor her life.

Since finding out about Palleschi’s death, Fiscelli said her emotions have gone from “crying the whole day, to anger to a feeling that I can’t believe it.”

“Karen was a wonderful person, very gentle and kind,” Fiscelli said. “She was super nice. A loyal person who loved her family more than anything else in the world.”

Restaurant owner to be charged in wife's homicide

In addition to her sons, Palleschi’s other survivors include four siblings.

Villa Restaurant has been closed since Saturday.

The family posted a message of Facebook Sunday evening, asking the patrons to be patient in light of a family “tragedy.”

villa small

Villa Restaurant is on Gratiot Avenue in Eastpointe, is expected to re-open for business Wednesday. The popular Italian eatery has been shut since Saturday.


“In light of a recent tragedy within the family, Villa will be closed through Tuesday, January 19,” the posting said. “We will reopen for carry out only on Wednesday, January 20 at 4 p.m.

“We thank you for your continued patronage and ask that you respect the privacy of the family as we mourn the loss of a loved one.”

Joseph Palleschi is due back in court at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 2 for a probable cause conference before 41B District Court Judge Sebastian Lucido.

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