The woman who is accused of dressing up as a clown and killing the wife of the man she eventually married will not learn her fate until next year.
The trial for Sheila Keen-Warren was scheduled to start this week. With the coronavirus pandemic halting jury trials, a judge decided on Thursday to move her trial to April 9, 2021.
Keen-Warren is accused of killing Marlene Warren in Wellington back in 1990.
The case went cold for decades until the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reopened it in 2014.
Authorities arrested Keen-Warren in Virginia three years ago, after a DNA analysis connected her to the killing.
Attorneys told the judge they were not able to conduct depositions, and their trial preparation stopped due to the virus.
In May 1990, Marlene Warren answered her front door at her home at the Aero Club, when she was shot and killed by someone dressed as a clown and holding flowers.
Keen-Warren married the victim’s husband, Michael Warren, in 2002 and moved to Virginia. Michael Warren has not been charged.
Jury trials throughout the state remain hold at least through early July. A trial moratorium extension of at least another two months is anticipated in South Florida.
“We’re going to socially distance in the fall,” Judge Joseph Marx said at Thursday’s hearing. “I can’t squeeze 14 jurors back in my jury room during the pendency of the case, or 12 jurors when they’re deliberating. So what do we do?”
In addition, closing the courtroom for deliberations could also bring logistical issues, Judge Marx said.
“I’m certainly hoping by March, we’ll be back to running as normal,” he added.
Prosecutors already dropped their plans to pursue the death penalty for Keen-Warren, which means that her April 2021 trial should take less than three weeks.