Woman pleads guilty to murdering a mother while dressed as a clown but denies committing the crime

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By James Kay

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A woman has pleaded guilty to a murder that took place three decades ago committed by a person dressed as a clown, but her lawyers maintain her innocence.

As reported by CNN, Marlene Warren was shot and killed in May 1990 as her children were inside having breakfast at her residence in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Warren answered her front door on the morning of the killing to find somebody dressed as a clown holding balloons and flowers.

Police stated that the clown handed Warren the gifts before brandishing a gun and shooting her in the head. She passed away in the hospital two days later.

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Sheila Keen Warren (2020). Credit: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy

Sheila Keen-Warren, 59, was arrested 27 years after the murder took place, during which time she had married Warren's widowed husband.

The 59-year-old was arrested and charged in 2017 and on Tuesday (April 25) she withdrew her earlier plea of not guilty and changed it to guilty.

According to CNN, this is a plea deal that has been agreed with prosecutors that will see Keen-Warren serve 12 years in prison with credit for the time she has served since her arrest.

State Attorney for Palm Beach County Dave Aronberg said: "After years of professing her innocence, Sheila Keen Warren has finally been forced to admit that she was the one who dressed as a clown and took the life of an innocent victim."

Keen-Warren's lawyers, alongside the 59-year-old herself, maintain that she is innocent but state that she is happy with the plea terms.

Her attorney Greg Rosenfeld said: "This woman should never have been arrested or prosecuted. She was looking forward to her day in court."

Despite the belief that she is innocent, Rosenfeld conceded that the plea deal was her best option, stating: "You never know what could happen in a trial."

He added: "The state of Florida originally wanted to execute her, but now she is going home in 10 months. While it was difficult to plead guilty to a crime she did not commit, it was kind of a no-brainer when there is a guarantee that you will be home with your family."

Prosecutor Reid Scott said that the evidence they would have submitted in court would have led to a jury finding her guilty of murder, to which Keen-Warren agreed.

Some of the evidence stacked against the 59-year-old included workers at a costume shop confirming that she had purchased the clown costume.

During the initial investigation into Warren's murder, it was alleged that her husband Michael and Keen-Warren were having an affair, but they denied this when questioned.

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Sheila Keen-Warren mugshot. Credit: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Twelve years later the pair were married, despite the 59-year-old being a key suspect in the murder.

The evidence available at the time of the murder wasn't strong enough to prosecute Keen-Warren, but a DNA breakthrough in 2014 reopened the case as the authority's evidence was strengthened.

CBS News reports that due to Keen-Warren having already served six years, it is likely that she will be released from prison within the next year due to good behavior.

Featured image credit: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy

Woman pleads guilty to murdering a mother while dressed as a clown but denies committing the crime

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

A woman has pleaded guilty to a murder that took place three decades ago committed by a person dressed as a clown, but her lawyers maintain her innocence.

As reported by CNN, Marlene Warren was shot and killed in May 1990 as her children were inside having breakfast at her residence in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Warren answered her front door on the morning of the killing to find somebody dressed as a clown holding balloons and flowers.

Police stated that the clown handed Warren the gifts before brandishing a gun and shooting her in the head. She passed away in the hospital two days later.

size-full wp-image-1263208780
Sheila Keen Warren (2020). Credit: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy

Sheila Keen-Warren, 59, was arrested 27 years after the murder took place, during which time she had married Warren's widowed husband.

The 59-year-old was arrested and charged in 2017 and on Tuesday (April 25) she withdrew her earlier plea of not guilty and changed it to guilty.

According to CNN, this is a plea deal that has been agreed with prosecutors that will see Keen-Warren serve 12 years in prison with credit for the time she has served since her arrest.

State Attorney for Palm Beach County Dave Aronberg said: "After years of professing her innocence, Sheila Keen Warren has finally been forced to admit that she was the one who dressed as a clown and took the life of an innocent victim."

Keen-Warren's lawyers, alongside the 59-year-old herself, maintain that she is innocent but state that she is happy with the plea terms.

Her attorney Greg Rosenfeld said: "This woman should never have been arrested or prosecuted. She was looking forward to her day in court."

Despite the belief that she is innocent, Rosenfeld conceded that the plea deal was her best option, stating: "You never know what could happen in a trial."

He added: "The state of Florida originally wanted to execute her, but now she is going home in 10 months. While it was difficult to plead guilty to a crime she did not commit, it was kind of a no-brainer when there is a guarantee that you will be home with your family."

Prosecutor Reid Scott said that the evidence they would have submitted in court would have led to a jury finding her guilty of murder, to which Keen-Warren agreed.

Some of the evidence stacked against the 59-year-old included workers at a costume shop confirming that she had purchased the clown costume.

During the initial investigation into Warren's murder, it was alleged that her husband Michael and Keen-Warren were having an affair, but they denied this when questioned.

size-full wp-image-1263208781
Sheila Keen-Warren mugshot. Credit: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Twelve years later the pair were married, despite the 59-year-old being a key suspect in the murder.

The evidence available at the time of the murder wasn't strong enough to prosecute Keen-Warren, but a DNA breakthrough in 2014 reopened the case as the authority's evidence was strengthened.

CBS News reports that due to Keen-Warren having already served six years, it is likely that she will be released from prison within the next year due to good behavior.

Featured image credit: ZUMA Press Inc / Alamy