West Palm Beach (AP)

A Florida judge has been reluctant to postpone the trial of a woman accused of dressing like a clown more than 30 years ago and shooting her lover’s wife after lawyers said they found it difficult to contact witnesses.

Sheila Kin-Warren’s trial was due to begin on June 3. But on Tuesday, Palm Beach County Judge Scott Suskauer agreed that there could be a four-month delay, according to the Palm Beach Post.

Sushkauer said he had already cleared his schedule, postponing other trials and hearings to be able to preside over the three-week trial.

“Think about how it affected me. I have a duty to society, ”Sushkauer told lawyers. “You also have a victim’s family who has been waiting for justice for a long time.”

This is the sixth time the trial has been delayed.

It was May 1990 when 40-year-old Marlene Warren opened the door and found a clown in an orange wig, with a red nose, but in the usual high shoes with carnations. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the day after the murder, the suspect was carrying two balloons – one with the words “You’re the biggest!”

Her then 20-year-old son and his friends who were in the house say the gifts were handed to her by a clown. The clown, without saying a word, shot her in the face, slowly approached the Chrysler LeBaron convertible and drove off.

Former Sheila Keane, who was rumored to have an affair with Marlene Warren’s husband, Michael Warren, was considered a suspect, but the case against her seemed delicate. Two nights before the murder, the woman showed up at a costume store and said she urgently needed a clown costume, an orange wig, white gloves, a red nose and enough white makeup to completely cover her face. One of the officers recognized her from the photos, but the other was unsure.

She later married Michael Warren, and they were living in Virginia, when investigators said DNA provided the evidence needed for her arrest in 2017.

Assistant Attorney General Reed Scott agreed that the latest delay is inevitable.

“I want this defendant to be fully prepared for trial,” Scott said. “I don’t want to deal with appeal issues.”

The defense team – Richard Lubin, Greg Rosenfeld and Amy Morse – blamed Scott, writing that he did not tell them the names and addresses of key witnesses who are now scattered across the country.

The defense team also said they needed to look at evidence, including hair fibers, two balloons, a Publix bag and car rental documents that were not in the locker with evidence in the sheriff’s office. According to them, these items were sent for forensic examination for further consideration.

“Usually, criminal prosecution is simple: the police investigate the crime, the police arrest the suspect, and the state brings him to justice,” they wrote.

“After the detention, the police and the state continued the investigation,” they wrote. “This false accusation prevented Ms. Keane-Warren from preparing for trial.”

Because so much time has passed since the murder, testimonies have been taken from some witnesses who may or may not appear.

“This is a very difficult situation,” Lubin told the newspaper. “This is a long-standing event. Witnesses of 60, 70 and 80 years. Some of them are dead. Others are weakened. “

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