Florida ‘killer clown’ trial postponed again as lawyers struggle to find witnesses 32 years after murder

A Florida judge has reluctantly postponed the trial of a woman accused of dressing as a clown and fatally shooting her lover’s wife more than 30 years ago, after lawyers said they are struggling to contact take with witnesses.

The test for Sheila Keen-Warren was supposed to start on June 3. But on Tuesday, Palm Beach County Circuit judge Scott Suskauer agreed to what could be a four-month delay, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Suskauer said he had already cleared his agenda and postponed other lawsuits and hearings in order to lead a three-week trial.

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Sheila Keen Warren, left, was arrested in Virginia in the 1990 death of Marlene Warren, right.

WNCN-TV


“Think about the impact it has on me. I have a duty to the public,” Suskauer told the lawyers. “You also have the family of a victim who has waited a long time for justice.”

It is the sixth time the trial has been postponed.

It was May 1990 when Marlene Warren, 40, opened her door to find a clown in an orange wig, a red nose but normal high shoes with carnations. According to a report in the Sun-Sentinel, the suspect had two balloons with him the day after the murder, one that read “You’re the best!”

Her then 20-year-old son and his friends, who were in the house, say the clown handed her the gifts. The clown then shot her in the face without saying a word, walked slowly to a Chrysler LeBaron convertible and drove off.

The former Sheila Keen, Rumor has it that he is having an affair with Marlene Warren’s husband, Michael Warren, was considered a suspect, but the case against her seemed thin. Two nights before the murder, a woman showed up at a costume store and told clerks she urgently needed a clown suit, orange wig, white gloves, a red nose and enough white makeup to completely cover her face. One of the clerks identified her in a series of photos, but the other clerk wasn’t sure.

She later married Michael Warren and they were living in Virginia when researchers said DNA provided the evidence they needed arrest her in 2017

Assistant state attorney Reid Scott agreed that the latest delay was inevitable.

“I want this defendant to be fully prepared for the trial,” Scott said. “I don’t want to get involved in appeals.”

The defense team—Richard Lubin, Greg Rosenfeld and Amy Morse—blamed Scott, writing that he had failed to give them names and addresses of key witnesses now scattered across the country.

The defense team also said they needed to review evidence, including hair fibers, two balloons, a Publix bag and rental car papers, that were not in an evidence safe at the sheriff’s office. Those items had been sent to forensics for further investigation, they said.

“Usually, a criminal prosecution is simple: the police investigate a crime, the police arrest a suspect, and the state prosecutes the suspect,” but this case has not been settled that way, they wrote.

“After the arrest, the police and the state will continue their investigations,” they wrote. “This backward prosecution has hampered Ms Keen-Warren’s ability to prepare for trial.”

Because so much time has passed since the murder, affidavits have been taken from some witnesses who cannot or will not appear.

“This is a very difficult situation,” Lubin told the newspaper. “This is an event from long ago. Witnesses are in their 60s, 70s and 80s. Some of them are dead. Others are weakened.”

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