BRISTOL — A Florida prosecutor accused an Abingdon woman and her husband of fraud after the woman, charged with murder in a bizarre 1990 shooting involving a clown costume, claimed she couldn’t pay attorney fees.
Sheila Keen-Warren, a 56, arrested in 2017 in the death of Marlene Warren, “falsified” her criminal indigent status application by failing to report assets totaling over $1 million, according to court documents.
Keen-Warren and her husband, Michael Warren, have not been charged in relation to the fraud mentioned in the motion.
Officials said Michael Warren’s then-wife, Marlene Warren, was shot in the face in Florida in May 1990 by a clown delivering carnations and balloons. Investigators said DNA testing led to Keen-Warren’s arrest.
Witnesses told detectives that Sheila Keen and Michael Warren were having an affair before the killing, which they denied. They married in 2002.
Keen-Warren, who faces the death penalty, denies the killing. Michael Warren has not been charged.
Following her arrest, Keen-Warren said she had an income of $100 per week and no assets, the motion states.
On April 15, her attorneys asked the court to have her outstanding fees paid by the Justice Administration Commission, a taxpayer-funded Florida agency that covers bills for the indigent.
The document said Keen-Warren paid $90,000 of $150,000 she owed in attorney fees.
“The defendant and her husband have done nothing short of perpetrating a fraud onto the court and the state of Florida,” Assistant State Attorney Brian Fernandes wrote in the motion.
“But for the fact that she is being held without — bond, the state would request heavier sanctions and would pursue criminal prosecution.”
Instead, the state is asking Keen-Warren’s indigent status be revoked and any money paid by the state returned.
The Florida prosecutors said Keen-Warren and her husband have a number of assets, including homes in Abingdon and Kingsport, Tennessee, as well as vehicles and bank assets.
The woman’s home on Heron Circle on South Holston Lake is valued at $581,700, while a home on Old Mill Court in Kingsport is worth $184,800. The couple has two properties in Florida, valued at $3,000 and $6,000, the motion states.
In addition, the pair owns a Cadillac Escalade and a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, valued at $40,000 each, the motion states.
On Feb. 1, 2018, the pair had bank balances of $93,629.80; $191,157.63 and $14,635, the motion states.
A Palm Beach County circuit judge last Friday agreed to reconvene the court on Nov. 22 to discuss the motion.