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Florida Seeks Death Penalty In Killer Clown Case

Florida Seeks Death Penalty In Killer Clown Case Promo Image

A woman accused of disguising herself as a clown and murdering her lover's wife was extradited to Florida on Oct. 3 to face charges, 27 years after the victim's death.

Sheila Warren, a 54-year-old who had been living in Abingdon, Virginia, was arrested in September after investigators used new DNA testing methods that linked her to the killing, reports The Associated Press.

Prosecutors said they intend to seek the death penalty when Warren is tried in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Sheila will be charged with murder in the 1990 death of Marlene Warren, who at the time was married to Sheila's current husband, Michael Warren. Attorneys involved in the case said they did not wish to discuss whether Michael is a person of interest, though sources told WPTV he supports Sheila.

"My client will plead not guilty," said Sheila's defense attorney, Richard Lubin. "She vehemently denies her guilt and we'll proceed as usual."

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The victim's son and witness to the killing, Joseph Ahrens, has stated publicly that he believes Sheila killed his mother.

That day in May 1990, a brown-eyed woman wearing a clown costume with an orange wig and white face paint drove up to Marlene's house and handed the 40-year-old mom carnations and foil balloons, notes The Palm Beach Post.

"Oh, how pretty," Marlene allegedly said at the time, as recalled by Ahrens, who was 21 at the time.

The clown then pulled a gun on Marlene and shot her in the face, said officials. She died two days later.

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Authorities never found the gun, the clown suit, fingerprints or blood in connection to the case, though Sheila was connected to purchasing similar items shortly before the shooting.

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At the time, Marlene had told family members that she and Michael had a rocky relationship. She suspected him of having an affair, and she wanted to leave him but was having trouble because the couple's properties and car business were all in her name. She also said that she was afraid her husband would kill her.

"If anything happens to me, Mike done it," Marlene reportedly told family members before her death.

Some said Michael and Sheila were having an affair, though they both denied it. They married in Las Vegas 12 years after Michael became a widower. The couple has lived in Abingdon, Virginia, together for at least 15 years, notes The Sun Sentinel.

According to local residents, the Warrens ran a popular fast food restaurant for several years and have a reputation for being friendly, good-hearted neighbors.

Sources: AP via WKYTWPTVPalm Beach PostSun Sentinel / Featured Image: torbakhopper/Flickr / Embedded Images: Palm Beach Post

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