After more than 30 years ago that lawyers said they were having trouble reaching witnesses, a Florida judge reluctantly postponed the trial of a woman charged with murdering her lover’s wife dressed as a clown.
trial for report.It was due to start on June 3, but on Tuesday Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Scott Suskauer agreed to a four-month delay.
Suskauer said he had already arranged his schedule and postponed other trials and hearings so he could preside over a three-week trial.
“Think of the effect that has on me,” Suskauer told the lawyer. “I have a duty to the public.” “There are families of victims who have been waiting for justice for a long time.”
This is the sixth time the trial has been postponed.
In May 1990, when Marlene Warren, 40, opened the door, they found a clown in an orange wig and plain high-top shoes with a red nose but holding a carnation. According to Sun-Sentinel Report The day after the murder, the suspect was holding two balloons. One read “You are the best!”
Her son, then 20, and his friends at home said the clown had handed her a gift. The clown silently shot her in the face and walked slowly away, driving the Chrysler LeBaron convertible away.
Former Sheila Keane,Along with Marlene Warren’s husband, Michael Warren, was considered a suspect, but a lawsuit against her seemed slim. Two nights before her murder, a woman appeared at her costume store and told the clerks that she urgently needed a clown suit, an orange wig, white gloves, a red nose and white makeup to completely cover her face. One of her clerks identified her in her photo lineup, but the other clerk wasn’t convinced.
She later married Michael Warren and they were living in Virginia when investigators said the DNA provided the evidence they needed..
Adviser Reid Scott recently agreed that delays are inevitable.
“I want this defendant to be fully prepared for trial,” Scott said. “I don’t want to deal with the matter of appeal.”
Counsels Richard Lubin, Greg Rosenfeld and Amy Morse accused Scott of failing to provide the names and addresses of key witnesses now scattered across the country.
Lawyers also said they needed to see evidence that was not in the sheriff’s office’s evidence locker, including hair fibers, two balloons, a Publix bag and a rental car. The items were sent to forensics for further review, they said.
“Traditionally, criminal prosecution is simple: the police investigate the crime, the police arrest the suspects, and the state prosecutes the suspects.” But the case was not handled that way, they wrote.
“After the arrest, police and state investigations continued,” they wrote. “These regressive charges undermined Keen Warren’s ability to prepare for trial.”
Affidavits were received from some witnesses who were unable to appear or would not appear because too much time had passed since the murder.
“This is a very difficult situation,” Lubin told the newspaper. “It’s an old case. Witnesses are in their 60s, 70s and 80s. Some of them died and some were debilitated.”