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Prosecutors won’t seek death penalty for killer clown suspect

Sheila Keen-Warren accused of dressing as clown, killing future husband’s wife in 1990

Sheila Keen-Warren, pictured here in court in 2019 and after her arrest in 2017 (left to right), is accused of dressing up as a clown and killing her future husband's wife in 1990.
Sheila Keen-Warren, pictured here in court in 2019 and after her arrest in 2017 (left to right), is accused of dressing up as a clown and killing her future husband's wife in 1990. (WPLG)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Prosecutors won't seek the death penalty for a woman accused of dressing up as a clown and killing her future husband's wife in 1990.

Assistant State Attorney Reid Scott filed a notice Wednesday in Palm Beach County court that the state is not seeking the death penalty for Sheila Keen-Warren, who is charged with first-degree murder in the May 26, 1990, fatal shooting of Marlene Warren.

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 Marlene Warren at her Wellington home.

"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.

Marlene 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.

Marlene Warren was fatally shot in the face by a woman who was dressed as a clown in May 1990.
Marlene Warren was fatally shot in the face by a woman who was dressed as a clown in May 1990.

Marlene Warren died at a 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.

The trial is scheduled to begin in May.