Florida prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a woman accused of dressing up like a clown in 1990 and fatally shooting the wife of the man she later married, CBS News reports.
Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg issued a statement Wednesday saying the death penalty is the appropriate punishment for 54-year-old Sheila Keen Warren. Sheila Warren was held without bail on Wednesday after being extradited from Virginia, where she lived with her husband Michael Warren for years.
Defense attorney Richard Lubin told reporters Sheila Warren "vehemently denies" killing Marleen Warren and will plead not guilty.
Sheila Warren was arrested last week after a grand jury indicted her on first degree murder charges. Investigators say new DNA testing helped them make the arrest.
Michael Warren has not been charged, but investigators say that they haven't yet ruled him out as a suspect.
Marleen Warren was killed in May 1990 by a person dressed as a clown who gave her carnations and two foil balloons. Her son, who witnessed the killing, said that the clown then pulled a handgun, shot her in the face and drove away. Marlene Warren died two days later.
Sheila Keen, who worked for Michael Warren, had always been detectives' public primary suspect, but at the time they lacked sufficient evidence to ensure a conviction without the DNA test.
Though both denied it, witnesses told investigators that Keen and Michael Warren were having an affair. Costume shop employees remembered seeing Sheila Keen a few days prior to the shooting.
One of the two balloons given to Marleen Warren was sold at only one store, a Publix supermarket near Keen's home. Employees told detectives a woman who looked like Keen had bought the balloons an hour before the shooting.
The presumed getaway car was a white Chrysler convertible — the same one that had been reported stolen from Michael Warren's car lot a month earlier. Keen and her then-husband repossessed cars for Michael Warren.
Marlene Warren suspected Michael Warren of having an affair and wanted to leave him, relatives told The Palm Beach Post in 2000. However, both the car lot and other properties were in her name and she worried about what would happen if she left.0comments
She allegedly told her mother, "If anything happens to me, Mike done it."
Sheila Warren and Michael Warren married in 2002.