NEW: Woman charged in Wellington clown murder case waives speedy trial

After 27 years, a judge agreed Monday that a few more weeks won’t make a difference in the “killer clown” murder trial of Sheila Keen-Warren.

Keen-Warren, 54, arrested in September at her home in Virginia, is accused of dressing as a clown and murdering 40-year-old Marlene Warren in Warren’s Wellington Aero Club home in 1990.

Read full coverage of the Wellington “clown” murder case

Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty. It’s been at least two decades since a jury imposed a death sentence in state court in Palm Beach County.

In court Monday, defense attorney Richard Lubin waived Keen-Warren’s right to a speedy trial, and Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer set the next status hearing for Jan. 23.

Feuer retained Keen-Warren’s “no bond” status. The judge also agreed to a request by Lubin that Keen-Warren need not be present at status hearings.

Lubin has said Keen-Warren will plead not guilty.

In Monday’s hearing, which lasted about two minutes, Lubin told the judge he recently had received a voluminous batch of documents, both electronically and on paper, from prosecutors as part of the trial’s “discovery” stage and wanted time to digest them.

“Murder cases in general are very complicated. This one is even more complicated and compounded by the age of the case,” Lubin told reporters later. “We just decided to reset it for 60 days and see where we stand. It’s going to take a while. But we’re not going to dawdle.”

Lubin also would not reveal the contests of a lengthy conversation he had right after the hearing with Keen-Warren, sitting in the jury box with other criminal defendants, all clad in blue jail jumpsuits.

Detectives on the cold-case unit at the sheriff’s office had said a new DNA analysis finally got them an arrest warrant for the woman they’d suspected in Warren’s murder for decades.

In the initial investigation, deputies were told Keen-Warren was having an affair with Michael Warren. Twelve years after the murder, Keen-Warren and Warren were married in Las Vegas 12 years after the slaying.

Authorities have not said whether they’re investigating Michael Warren or if he may face charges in the fatal shooting.

Marlene Warren reportedly told her family that she wanted to leave her husband but that it was complicated because the businesses they ran together — several properties and a used car dealership —were under her name. Her family told The Palm Beach Post in 2000 that she warned them if anything happened to her, her husband had something to do with it.

Staff writer Hannah Winston contributed to this story.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

JUST IN: Crash on northbound I-95 closes several lanes near Jupiter
JUST IN: Crash on northbound I-95 closes several lanes near Jupiter

A crash has closed several lanes of traffic on northbound Interstate-95 near Jupiter Thursday night, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. A crash just north of Indiantown Road has closed several lanes of the interstate as trauma helicopters are responding to the scene, according to authorities. Fire rescue officials said to “avoid area...
Nouman Raja files ‘Stand Your Ground’ claim in Corey Jones shooting
Nouman Raja files ‘Stand Your Ground’ claim in Corey Jones shooting

Calling it “a classic case of self-defense,” lawyers for former Palm Beach Gardens Officer Nouman Raja are asking a judge to dismiss manslaughter and attempted murder charges against him for the October 2015 shooting death of 31-year-old stranded motorist Corey Jones. Raja’s lawyers in court documents filed Thursday are asking...
State senate revamps sex harassment rules

The Florida Senate released a revamped sexual harassment policy Thursday, after sex scandals rocked the chamber and led to the resignations of two prominent senators. Former Sen. Jack Latvala announced his resignation this past month following the release of an investigative report that recommended a criminal probe into allegations the Clearwater Republican...
Sportcaster, former NFL player Ahmad Rashad selling Gardens home
Sportcaster, former NFL player Ahmad Rashad selling Gardens home

Former Minnesota Viking and NBC sportscaster Ahmad Rashad has put his Palm Beach Gardens home on the market, reports. Rashad is listing his 3-bedroom, 4 1/2-bathroom house in Frenchman’s Creek Beach & Country Club for $740,000. The home has a two-car garage and a pool that’s surrounded by thick landscaping for privacy, but the...
NEW: 1 dead, five injured in crash near Palm Springs, road closed
NEW: 1 dead, five injured in crash near Palm Springs, road closed

One person is dead and five are in the hospital after a crash near Palm Springs Thursday evening, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue. Crews were called to a multiple-vehicle crash near Melaleuca Lane and Congress Avenue at 5 p.m. Several people were trapped inside a vehicle that was on fire, according to Capt. Albert Borroto, the spokesperson...
More Stories