Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a woman accused of dressing as a clown and fatally shooting the wife of her future husband.
Sheila Keen Warren, 54, is charged with murder in the 27-year-old case that was recently reopened by Florida authorities.
“My office is committed to pursuing justice for the victim,” State Attorney Dave Aronberg told reporters Wednesday. His staff “carefully deliberated” pursuing capital punishment, he said. “Sometimes justice can be delayed but, justice eventually arrives.”
She arrived in Palm Beach County Tuesday night from Virginia, where she was arrested last week. She is being held without bail.
“She vehemently denies her guilt and we’ll proceed as usual,” said defense attorney Richard Lubin, who added that his client intends to plead not guilty.
Authorities said new DNA evidence linked Keen Warren to the murder of Marlene Warren, who was fatally shot when she answered her front door.
She was greeted by a clown wearing a bright orange wig, a red nose, gloves and a big smile painted on its white face. The clown also carried two balloons and a bouquet of flowers.
The clown fired once, hitting the woman in the face. She died two days later.
Her husband was Michael Warren, who has been married to Keen Warren for the last 15 years.
The murder case is still open, authorities said. Michael Warren has not been charged in connection with the killing.
The clown left the scene and drove off in white Chrysler LeBaron that was later connected to a car rental company that had ties to Michael Warren’s used auto dealership, investigators said.
Sheila Keen, then 27, worked for Michael Warren.
Costume shop employees picked her out of a photo lineup as the woman who had bought a clown costume two days before the killing, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
Workers at another store identified Sheila Keen as the person who bought flowers and balloons 90 minutes before the shooting death.