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27 years later, woman charged in fatal shooting by clown

Published: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 @ 11:59 AM

27 Years Later, Woman Charged In Fatal Shooting By Clown

For 27 years, investigators thought Sheila Keen had something to do with the clown who drove up to a home in Wellington, Florida, with flowers, balloons and a gun, and killed 40-year-old Marlene Warren.

They believed Keen was having an affair with Michael Warren, Marlene’s widower. They subpoenaed her then-husband and mother-in-law. The balloons found at the scene were only sold at the Publix across from her home at the time.

On Tuesday, investigators arrested the now 54-year-old, who goes by the name Sheila Keen Warren, in Washington County, Virginia, with the help of local law enforcement officers.

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The sheriff’s office reopened the case in 2014 and has since spoken again with witnesses and conducted additional DNA analysis. Investigators said they learned Sheila Keen Warren married Michael Warren, Marlene’s widower, in 2002 and the pair owned a restaurant together in Tennessee. Property records show she has owned a home in Abingdon, Virginia, near the Tennessee border, since 2002.

The sheriff’s office did not say if those facts or other new evidence led to a grand jury indictment on first-degree murder in August. The sheriff’s office did not mention if her husband, Marlene’s widower, will be charged.

On May 26, 1990, a person dressed in an orange wig and white face paint parked a white Chrysler convertible in Marlene Warren’s driveway at 14570 Takeoff Place in Wellington. She answered the door, walking past her 21-year-old son, Joseph Aherns, and his friends. The clown handed her red and white carnations and foil balloons.

“Oh, how pretty,” her son remembered her saying. Aherns spoke with The Palm Beach Post in 2000.

Without saying a word, the clown pulled out a gun and shot Marlene Warren in the face. Aherns, who was in cast at the time from a car crash, said he made his way to his mother and yelled at the clown, prompting the shooter to turn around. Aherns didn’t remember what he said, but he remembered the clown’s brown eyes. After calling 911, he got his keys, got into a car and tried to find the Chrysler convertible to no avail. His stepfather, Michael Warren, was on Interstate 95 heading to a casino in Miami.

Warren died two days later.

A white Chrysler convertible matching Aherns’s description of the car the clown used to drive away was found abandoned in Royal Palm Beach, according to reports at the time.

But no blood, fingerprints or a gun were ever recovered. Neither was the clown suit.

In the days following the shooting, neighbors tried to put together what happened. Local children were scared of clowns.

Before Marlene Warren was killed, she told family that she feared her husband, Michael, would kill her. She wanted to leave him, but their auto business and real estate properties, worth more than $1 million, were in her name.

Family members told The Post in 2000 that Marlene Warren told her mother, “If anything happens to me, Mike done it.”

“They were having problems,” Bill Twing, Marlene’s stepfather, told The Post in 2000. “If she would’ve left him, it would’ve cost him dearly.”

Marlene Warren also thought there was another woman.

Shelia Keen was 27 and worked for Michael Warren at his West Palm Beach used car lot. Investigators were told by several people that Shelia Keen and Michael Warren were having an affair, but they both denied it. The pair married in Las Vegas 12 years after the shooting.

In the days after the fatal shooting, sheriff’s investigators discovered many connections to Shelia Keen Warren:

The balloons at the scene were only sold at a Publix at Community and Military Trail near where she lived. The salesperson described the woman who bought the items as having long, brown hair, like she had. The balloons were bought less than an hour before the shooting.

At a nearby costume shop, salespeople there identified Sheila Keen specifically as the woman who bought a clown costume just days before the shooting.

Additionally, detectives connected the Chrysler convertible to Michael Warren’s car business through a stolen car report filed just a month before. Inside the car, they found orange fibers, possibly from the orange clown wig, and brown hair. DNA analysis in 1990 was very limited.

Until now, neither were ever arrested in the fatal shooting.

Michael Warren did serve several years in prison after he was convicted of grand theft, racketeering and odometer tampering, connected to the used car business.

2 dead after shooting at Penn State Beaver campus

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 4:26 PM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 4:26 PM

Penn State Beaver campus in Center Township, Pa.
Penn State Beaver 
Penn State Beaver campus in Center Township, Pa.(Penn State Beaver )

Two people died Wednesday afternoon in a shooting at Penn State’s Beaver campus in what police described as a domestic situation, WPXI confirmed.

Judge resigns after sending woman to jail over perjury, traffic ticket

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:08 AM

Judge Sends Woman To Jail Over Perjury & Traffic Ticket Then Resigns

A Decatur municipal court judge has resigned after jailing a woman for perjury, saying she’d lied about a traffic ticket.

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Judge Lindsay Jones offered his resignation to Decatur Chief Municipal Judge Rhathelia Stroud on Wednesday, Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jones had earlier told The AJC he was not stepping down.

The controversy began when Shari Hurston Tatum appeared in court Nov. 8 for a traffic ticket. She waived her right to an attorney and jury trial, but demanded a bench hearing, Jones said.

When Tatum reappeared in court Wednesday for that hearing, Jones played video of the traffic incident and decided Tatum was guilty of blocking the intersection and further that Tatum was guilty of perjury. He sentenced her to two days in jail.

>> Related: Woman spends 20th anniversary in jail for minor traffic violation

“Tatum’s perjury was characterized as misbehavior before the court, and treated as a contempt of court process, for which she was sentenced to two days in jail,” Jones said.

Tatum said she was embarrassed and ended up spending her 20th wedding anniversary in jail.

After The AJC on Thursday published an article about the incident, Jones sent a letter refuting the idea that he had resigned. 

“I have not offered my resignation to Ms. Merris or the City Commission, nor have I spoken with Ms. Merris or the Commissioners as of this date relating to my judgeship,” Jones wrote on Thursday.

But Decatur officials say Jones had resigned verbally in conversation the day before with Stroud.

“After listening to his report and sharing my concerns and subsequent expectations for what had gone forth in the Court earlier, Judge Jones tendered his verbal resignation to me last night,” Stroud said in an email to Merriss.

Stroud further said she accepted the resignation immediately on behalf of the city.

Jones said on Sunday he meant only to maintain that he would not change his order in Tatum’s case and that he intended to seek further clarification from Stroud.

“I had no intent to offer the resignation of my position to Judge Stroud, I was merely expressing my intent do so in the future if the political pressures being exerting upon me to change my order were to persist,” Jones wrote.

Based on his resignation, Jones is no longer a member of the City of Decatur Municipal Court, Merriss said.

Woman arrested, accused of threatening to ‘kill everybody’ on Southwest flight

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 12:42 PM

A passenger was removed from a Southwest flight after threatening to kill everyone on it.
Rob Carr/Getty Images/Getty Images
A passenger was removed from a Southwest flight after threatening to kill everyone on it.(Rob Carr/Getty Images/Getty Images)

A woman was arrested after she was accused of smoking on a plane and threatening to kill passengers on the flight.

KOIN reported that the woman was on a Southwest Airlines flight from Portland, Oregon to Sacramento, California,  Saturday. Passenger-recorded video appears to show a woman yelling at crew.

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“I swear if you don’t (expletive) land I will (expletive) kill everyone on this (expletive) plane,” the woman says in the video.

KOVR reported that the witness who recorded the video said the woman, Valerie Curbelo, 24, was caught smoking in the bathroom of the plane and attempted to interfere with the smoke detector. She was told to go back to her seat when she began yelling and making threats. According to the witness, Curbelo had to be restrained by crew members for the last 30 minutes flight, which lasted about an hour and 20 minutes.

Curbelo was arrested by law enforcement at the gate. She was booked into the Saramento County Jail and making criminal threats.

Curbelo spoke to KOVR from her jail cell. She said she smoked because she was anxious, but she did not provides and explanation for the threat she is accused of making, or what she was anxious about. 

“I don’t know,” Curbelo, who is from Sandy, Oregon, said. “It was not me. It was not me.”

Curbelo wouldn’t say why she was flying to Sacramento.

Southwest airlines provided a statement to KOIN on the incident:

“Our Crew in command of Flight 2943 traveling from Portland on Saturday afternoon safely landed on-time in Sacramento following an inflight disturbance. Our reports from Flight Attendants indicate a Customer violated federal laws by both smoking onboard an aircraft and by tampering with a smoke detector in an aircraft restroom. Our Crew enforced the regulation and that was followed by the passenger outburst. The safety of our Crew and Passengers is our top priority and we take all threats seriously. The Pilots declared an emergency to receive priority handling from air traffic controllers, and our Crew handled the situation onboard until the plane landed and local authorities stepped in. The flight carried 136 Customers and a Crew of five.”


The Sacramento Bee reported that Curbelo has an arraignment Tuesday afternoon.

Who is Akayed Ullah, suspect in New York explosion?

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 11:29 AM
Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 2:08 PM

Who Is Akayed Ullah?

Four people were injured Monday morning when an explosive device went off in an underground passageway near Times Square, New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. Among those injured was a man suspected of strapping the device to himself and carrying it toward Times Square.

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>> Related: New York explosion: Suspect, 3 others injured in 'terror-related' attack

New York Police Commissioner James O’Neil identified the suspect as Akayed Ullah, 27.

Explosion Reported At New York City Port Authority Bus Station