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Killer clown suspect claims she's too poor to pay for defense. She's faking, prosecutors say

Marc Freeman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in News & Features

The judge set a Nov. 22 hearing on the matter. A new date for the trial also could be scheduled at that time.

Marx said the trial delays were unfortunate, considering how long Warren has been in custody on no bond, and the victim's family's wait for justice.

Joe Ahrens, Marlene Warren's son, attended the hearing with his attorney, Lance Richard. They declined to speak with reporters.

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.

Michael Warren, also named as an original suspect, was convicted of financial crimes connected to his West Palm Beach used-car business. Keen, allegedly his mistress, had worked for him as a "repo lady," records show.

For years after they got married, Michael and Sheila Warren operated a popular fast-food restaurant in Kingsport, Tenn., called the Purple Cow, not far from their Abingdon, Va., home.

Since his wife's arrest, he has stood by her.


"It's sad that, you know, they try to make somebody guilty that's not guilty," Michael Warren told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in May. "If there is any justice in this world whatsoever, she will be a free woman" after the trial.

Sheila Warren's lawyer told reporters on Friday that the nature of it being a nearly 30-year old murder case has slowed trial preparations.

"Witnesses have moved away, we don't know their addresses, some of them have become disabled, some of them are dead," Lubin said.

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