The woman accused in South Florida’s killer clown case is expected back in court today for a hearing about preparations for her trial.
Jailed without bond, Sheila Warren, 55, has waived her right to a speedy trial and pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder with a firearm charge.
On May 26, 1990, the 40-year-old victim opened the door of her Aero Club estate home for a clown wearing an orange wig, a red bulb nose, gloves and a smile painted on white makeup. The clown held two balloons and flowers in one hand and a pistol in the other.
The clown fired at Marlene Warren’s face and fled in a white Chrysler LeBaron, which was found four days later abandoned at a shopping center parking lot. After a massive investigation, the case eventually turned cold.
Detectives dusted off their files in 2014, ordering new DNA testing through the FBI’s crime lab. They apparently used saved samples of Sheila Warren’s hair and vials of her blood through a 1990 search warrant.
It led to the 2017 arrest of Sheila Warren, known as “Debbie,” but specifics about the DNA breakthrough haven’t been revealed.
The case features a love triangle: He was married to Marlene Warren, 40, and having an affair with then-Sheila Keen at the time of the murder, according to court files.
Michael Warren then denied any involvement and later was convicted of financial crimes connected to his used-car business, where his mistress had worked, records show.
Years after he was released from a Florida prison, Michael and Sheila Warren married in Las Vegas in 2002. Together, they operated a popular fast-food restaurant in Kingsport, Tenn., not far from their Abingdon, Va., home.
Since his wife’s arrest, he has stood by her and also said he had nothing to do with the slaying.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says the case remains an open investigation, and they have gathered more evidence since Sheila Warren was arrested.
In January, Circuit Judge Joseph Marx suggested the possibility of a trial this November.
But defense attorney Richard Lubin later called that “unrealistic” due to the complexities of preparing a case with such old evidence.
Lubin, who this week added Greg Rosenfeld as co-counsel, has said there’s nothing directly linking his client to the crime.
“They’ve arrested the wrong person,” Lubin has said, adding, “this case is 100 percent circumstantial.”