Florida’s ‘killer clown’ has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after gunning down her love rival in 1990 – but could be released from prison in just ten months.
Sheila Keen-Warren admitted killing Marlene Warren outside of her Wellington home wearing a clown costume and makeup, before marrying her victim’s husband Michael Warren in 2002 in Las Vegas.
The 60-year-old changed her plea two weeks before her trial was due to start – after 33 years of claiming she was innocent of the slaying on May 26.
She was handed a 12-year prison sentence, with credit for the five and a half years she has spent in jail since her arrest.
But her lawyer has claimed she could be free early next year because of good behavior – with time shaved off her sentence for each month she spent in prison without incident.
Sheila Keen-Warren admitted shooting Marlene Warren wearing a clown costume and makeup
The 60-year-old (pictured) sensationally changed her plea two weeks before her trial was due to start – after 33 years of claiming she was innocent of the slaying on May 26
Defense attorney Greg Rosenfeld added that while current law requires people to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence before gain time can build up, Keen-Warren is exempt because of the sentencing laws in 1990 when the crime was committed.
He added that although Keen-Warren had pleaded guilty to the crime, she still insists that she didn’t pull the trigger – adding that the ‘gamble just isn’t worth it’.
Rosenfeld said: ‘This is an incredibly difficult decision to make, just having to plea to a crime you didn’t commit.
‘The gamble’s just not worth it. When you’re looking at going home in 10 months versus the risk of what could happen at trial, you never know. It’s a huge win for our client.’
Keen-Warren would have faced life in prison or the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder, according to the State Attorney’s office.
She became the prime suspect in the slaying after she was rumored to be having an affair with Marlene’s husband, Michael, something she denied to investigators despite marrying him 12 years later.
Marlene was shot in the face on the doorstep of her home by Keen-Warren, who was clutching two balloons.
One balloon reportedly bore a picture of Snow White, the other was emblazoned with the words, ‘You’re the Greatest!’
Marlene, 40, (pictured) was shot in the face in May 1990 after answering the door of her Palm Beach home to a person who was dressed up as a clown
Costume shop employees allegedly Sheila Keen-Warren as the woman who had bought a clown costume two days before the murder
Michael and Sheila married in Las Vegas in 2002, years after murder of his first wife twelve years prior
Pictured are the two balloons and flowers which the clown gave to Marlene. One of the balloons said ‘You’re the greatest’ and the other had a photograph of Snow White on it
Crime scene investigators are pictured at the Warren home after Marlene was shot in May 1990
WHAT IS ‘GAIN TIME’ IN FLORIDA’S COURTS?
‘Gain time’ is an inmate’s opportunity to earn a reduction (if eligible) in his/her overall sentence imposed by the court and was first introduced in 1889.
Inmates serving life sentences or certain minimum mandatory sentences are not eligible for ‘Gain time’ during the portion of time these mandatory sentences are in effect.
It is awarded to inmates for institutional adjustment, work and participation in programs on a monthly basis as they are earned.
Any crime committed before January 1979 or after June 1983 but before January 1994 means that inmates can get up to 20 days a month.
Inmates who committed crime(s) on or after January 1, 1994 may earn up to 25 days of incentive ‘gain time’ per month.
If the crime was committed on or after January 1, 1994, the inmate is eligible for up to 20 days per month of incentive gain time.
However any crimes committed after October 1995 mean that inmates are required to serve 85% of each sentence imposed.
Keen-Warren met Michael while working as a repo woman for his used-car shop – with Michael always insisting she was innocent of the murder of his first wife.
Michael was considered a suspect by Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in the murder but was never formally accused.
Marlene’s don, Joseph Ahrens, said after the sentencing: ‘The only thing I want to say is, all through this trial I haven’t seen any remorse. God be with her.’
His mother had opened the door to the clown, who had the balloons as well as a bouquet of flowers which she took.
She had been eating breakfast with her son Joseph and several of his friends, commenting ‘how nice’, before being shot in the face. Michael, who a car salesman, was not at home at the time.
Keen-Warren then calmly walked back to the white Chrysler LeBaron which she arrived and drove away from the scene.
Marlene died at a hospital two days later, and authorities were only able to arrest her killed in 2017 after a breakthrough in DNA.
Officers arrested Keen-Warren in 2017, where she was living with Michael, after Detective Paige McCann discovered a previously unseen 6- to 8-inch fiber among the crime-scene evidence.
Assistant State Attorney Reid Scott said that Keen-Warren pleaded guilty ‘because she is’, something which her attorneys deny.
Scott confirmed that DNA extracted from the fiber linked Keen-Warren to the murder. Her defense team questioned the integrity of the fiber before she ultimately pleaded guilty.
The shock plea came after another inmate, Edward Bahr, bragged to his cellmate that he was hired by Michael to kill Marlen because she wanted a divorce. He later denied making the claims.
Paramedics take Marlene Warren to an ambulance on May 26, 1990, after she was shot in front of her home
Michael was jailed in 1992 for racketeering (above left in court) and then dropped off the map after spending three years in jail in Florida. When his wife was killed, police suspected he was having an affair with Sheila (right in her driver’s license) but they denied it
Police used new DNA technology to link evidence it to Keen-Warren who was extradited from Virginia to Florida in 2017 on murder charges (Keen-Warren in 2017)
A white Chrysler LeBaron convertible was used to drive up to Marlene’s home then away again was later found abandoned (above) in a parking lot
Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12012915/Floridas-killer-clown-pleads-guilty-shooting-dead-love-rival-doorstep-1990.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490&rand=1270