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The judge must consider releasing Sheila Keen-Warren before the murder trial

The judge must consider releasing Sheila Keen-Warren before the murder trial

WEST PALM BEACH – On the day prosecutors and defense attorneys were supposed to spend selecting jurors to oversee the 1990 Wellington clown murder case, they traded barbs in court.

Sheila Keen-Warren is accused of dressing up as a clown and shooting her lover’s wife, Marlene Warren, to death on her Wellington doorstep in 1990. Circuit Judge Scott Suskauer called the hearing Friday in response to motions last week impeaching prosecutor Reid Scott.

Her lead defense attorney told Circuit Judge Scott Suskauer on Friday that prosecutor Reid Scott willfully breached his duty by withholding evidence that could help Keen-Warren’s defense and should be punished as a result.

Scott’s boss, Palm Beach State’s Attorney Dave Aronberg, watched silently from the courtroom gallery. Suskauer was ordered to appear last week after Scott created a clown sightings file he had denied for years.

Defendant Sheila Keen-Warren, center, speaks with her attorneys Amy Morse, left, and Greg Rosenfeld, Friday, Oct. 21, 2022, at the Palm Beach County Courthouse in Wellington

The 25-page file, handwritten by the original investigators in 1990, contains about 40 other leads related to Marlene Warren’s murder. The nature of the discovery of the file was a point of contention in the courtroom on Friday.

Defense attorney Greg Rosenfeld told the judge that Scott said he found the file in a box in his office, “which would have been ridiculous,” Suskauer said.

Palm Beach County State's Attorney Dave Aronberg arrives in courtroom 10B in Wellington

He replayed the phone conversation with the prosecutor as he remembered it, with Scott sighing and saying, “I’m really embarrassed.”

He told Rosenfeld that it was returned from a box at the State Attorney’s Office, and that he did not know how he or Detective McCann lost it, Rosenfeld said.

“I’m sorry,” prosecutor Rosenfeld said. “I made a mistake.”

When it was Scott’s turn, he was brief: “I never said that to the judge.”

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Scott told Suskauer that Rosenfeld misrepresented the motion last week that prompted the judge to postpone the case again. He did not find the file, he said, nor was it in his office, as Rosenfeld had alleged. Detective McCann found Keen-Warren’s husband, Michael Warren, at the sheriff’s office in an evidence box related to his arrest in 19__ for tampering with the odometer.

“Somebody’s not being fair to the judge,” Suskauer said.

It must now decide whether to impose financial penalties against Scott for “actions or inactions” that caused another delay in a case set for trial in early 2020. also the complications of the COVID-19 have caused the case to be postponed several times. Because of the long delay, Suskauer also agreed last week to reconsider Keen-War’s release on bond.

Defendant Sheila Keen-Warren, of Wellington

Keen-Warren has been under protective custody at the Palm Beach County Jail since his arrest in 2017. His conditions there are “as close to solitary as possible,” Rosenfeld told the judge.

If released from prison, he would live with his grown son in Palm Beach County. He would like to see his 83-year-old mother, added Rosenfeld, whom he has not seen in five years.

No decision on sentencing or pretrial release was reached at the end of the two-and-a-half-hour hearing Friday. Suskauer reset the case on December 22 to check the situation and warned both lawyers to delay the case further.

“This can’t happen again,” Suskauer said. “The ripple effects are huge.”

Hannah Phillips is a public safety and criminal justice reporter for The Palm Beach Post. You can contact him at [email protected].

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