New trial date set for killer clown suspect

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 1:16 PM EDT
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A new trial date has been set for a woman accused of dressing up as a clown and killing her future husband’s wife in 1990.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Scott Suskauer has set the murder trial for Sheila Keen-Warren to start Oct. 21.

Her trial had been scheduled to begin earlier this month, but it was delayed for the sixth time.

Keen-Warren faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with the May 26, 1990, death of Marlene Warren at her Wellington home.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Detective Paige McCann said during a September 2017 news conference that Sheila Keen, as she was known at the time, was dressed like a clown when she fatally shot Warren.

"Marlene answered the front door and the clown had two balloons, as well as a bouquet of flowers, and went to hand Marlene those items," McCann told reporters.

Warren, who had been eating breakfast with her then-22-year-old son and several of his friends, was surprised and commented, "How nice."

"It was at that time that the clown pulled out a gun and shot Marlene in the face," McCann said.

The clown then calmly walked back to the white Chrysler LeBaron in which she had arrived and drove away.

Warren died at Palms West Hospital two days later.

Keen-Warren had long been considered a suspect in the shooting, but it took investigators 27 years to make an arrest. She eventually married Michael Warren in 2002 and moved to Tennessee, where the couple operated a restaurant.

She was arrested in Virginia in 2017 and has been in a Palm Beach County jail cell ever since. Her attorneys were denied a request to have her released from jail while she awaits trial.

Defense attorney Greg Rosenfeld told WFLX earlier this month that his client is innocent and ready for her day in court.

Her attorneys claim that prosecutors concealed a possible suspect to pin the crime on Keen-Warren.

“We have no question that Ms. Keen-Warren did not commit this crime,” Rosenfeld told WFLX.

WFLX’s Meghan McRoberts recently spoke to the victim’s son, Joe Ahrens, who now lives in Stuart. Ahrens said it’s been frustrating waiting for his mother’s killer to go to trial.

Ahrens recalled being home eating breakfast with his mother when she was killed.

"I just felt my heart and soul just get ripped out of my body," he said.

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