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Lawyers for accused killer clown Sheila Keen-Warren claim state concealed possible suspect

Maine inmate in 1991 claimed to have killed Marlene Warren, motion says
Sheila Keen-Warren mugshot from October 2017
Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 16:18:46-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A motion filed Thursday by defense attorneys claims that the state concealed a possible suspect in the notorious, decades-old Wellington "killer clown" case.

Sheila Keen-Warren currently faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with the May 26, 1990, death of Marlene Warren at her Wellington home.

The new motion said the state has "repeatedly and egregiously" disregarded its discovery obligations in the case, which has prevented Keen-Warren's defense team from preparing for her trial.

It claims the state has struck down at least 20 witnesses because it does not intend on calling witnesses at the trial. Meanwhile, the defense claimed that they have discovered "several witnesses" who the prosecution has not listed.

The motion claimed that in 1991 an inmate in Maine named Jeffrey Libby, provided information that another inmate, Edward Bahr, confessed to killing Marlene Warren.

Marlene Warren
Marlene Warren was fatally shot in the face by a woman who was dressed as a clown in May 1990.

This prompted the lead detective in the case, Bill Williams, to travel to Maine to speak with Libby and Bahr, according to the motion.

Bahr allegedly told Williams that "he would tell him everything he knows" concerning the death of Marlene Warren if Williams "could promise him he would not get the electric chair."

The motion said that Williams could not promise him that, prompting Bahr to speak to an attorney before answering any more questions.

An attorney spoke with Bahr and then invoked his rights to remain silent and have counsel, but defense attorneys said the state never listed Bahr in the case.

Defense attorneys said that in May 2021 they went to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office evidence room to look at the evidence in the case.

However, they learned that two balloons, a ribbon, a hair/fiber, a car tag, a Publix paper bag, a straw wrapper, rental papers, a Kleenex box, a barcode sticker and a gum wrapper had been removed by a detective.

The defense team later learned that the evidence was removed for further forensic testing for fingerprints, which included for Bahr.

Read the full motion below:

The motion said Keen-Warren's attorney later learned that Bahr was arrested in Florida in May 2021 on a warrant for grand theft.

"For ten months, the State failed to disclose that a potential suspect in the murder of Marlene Warren was in (Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office) custody, and the suspect was interviewed by the detectives," the motion claims.

In June 2021, while still in custody, Bahr refused to answer questions from the assistant state attorney, was charged with criminal contempt and sentenced to five months and 29 days in the Palm Beach County jail.

However, the motion claims that Bahr gave consent to an investigator to conduct a search of his Houston, Texas, garage for further evidence.

In July 2021, an investigator flew to Houston to search Bahr's garage.

The motion said that since Bahr cooperated with the investigation, his sentence was modified to 40 days in jail with credit for 40 days served.

During this time, the defense team said the state, by law, failed to disclose that Bahr was a suspect in Marlene Warren's death.

Calling it "inexcusable," defense lawyers said prosecutor Reid Scott "knowingly remained silent" about Bahr's contempt hearing, the execution of the search warrant in Texas and interviews.

Keen-Warren's defense team is now asking a judge to grant a motion to continue the trial, extend deadlines and compel the state to hand over all evidence related to the case.

Sheila Keen-Warren arrested 5 years ago

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Detective Paige McCann said during a September 2017 news conference that Sheila Keen, as she was known at the time, was dressed like a clown when she fatally shot Marlene Warren.

"Marlene answered the front door and the clown had two balloons, as well as a bouquet of flowers, and went to hand Marlene those items," McCann told reporters.

Warren, who had been eating breakfast with her then-22-year-old son and several of his friends, was surprised and commented, "How nice."

"It was at that time that the clown pulled out a gun and shot Marlene in the face," McCann said.

The clown then calmly walked back to the white Chrysler LeBaron in which she had arrived and drove away.

Warren died at Palms West Hospital two days later.

Keen-Warren had long been considered a suspect in the shooting, but it took investigators 27 years to make an arrest. She eventually married Michael Warren in 2002 and moved to Tennessee, where the couple operated a restaurant. She was arrested in Virginia in 2017.