Where is Sheila Keen-Warren Now? 2024 Update & Background

Sheila Keen-Warren was born in 1963 and grew up in the state of Virginia. Details about her early life are sparse, but she was known to have a strong and independent personality. Sheila married her first husband, Richard “Spud” Keen, and the couple worked together in the car repossession business. Sheila developed a reputation for being tough and unyielding in her role, traits that would later play a significant role in her infamy.

In the late 1980s, Sheila moved to Florida, where she began working at Bargain Motors, a used car dealership owned by Mike Warren. Her work primarily involved repossessing cars, a job that demanded both physical and mental toughness. It was during this period that she became romantically involved with Mike Warren, despite both being married to other people at the time.

The Affair with Mike Warren

Sheila’s affair with Mike Warren was well-known among the employees at Bargain Motors. Witnesses described her as attractive, with long brown hair and a confident demeanor. The relationship between Sheila and Mike was characterized by its brazenness; they were often seen together in ways that left little doubt about the nature of their connection.

The affair caused considerable tension, particularly with Marlene Warren, Mike’s wife. Marlene suspected the affair and expressed fear for her safety, even telling her son and mother that if anything happened to her, Mike would be responsible. This fear turned out to be tragically prescient when Marlene was murdered in 1990, an event that would eventually lead investigators to Sheila.

Involvement in Marlene Warren’s Murder

On May 26, 1990, Marlene Warren was shot in the face by a person dressed as a clown, who delivered flowers and balloons before committing the murder. Sheila Keen quickly became a suspect due to several pieces of circumstantial evidence. Witnesses had seen a woman matching her description purchasing a clown costume and the flowers and balloons used in the crime. Additionally, a white Chrysler LeBaron, identified as the getaway car, was linked to Bargain Motors.

Despite these leads, there was not enough concrete evidence at the time to arrest Sheila. The case went cold for decades until advancements in DNA technology provided new insights. In 2013, the case was reopened, and investigators were able to match a hair found in the LeBaron to Sheila Keen, providing a crucial link to the crime scene. This breakthrough led to her arrest in 2017, nearly 27 years after the murder.

Legal Proceedings and Plea Deal

Sheila Keen-Warren was arrested on September 26, 2017, and charged with first-degree murder. By this time, she had married Mike Warren in 2002, and the couple had moved to Tennessee, living under the alias of “Debbie” for Sheila. The prosecution initially sought the death penalty, but later reevaluated the case and decided against pursuing it.

The legal proceedings were prolonged, with several delays, including those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In April 2023, Sheila accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a 12-year prison sentence. Due to time served since her arrest, she is expected to be released in 2025. Throughout the trial and even after her guilty plea, Sheila maintained her innocence through her attorney.

Current Status

Sheila Keen-Warren is currently serving her sentence in a Florida prison. Despite her guilty plea, she and her defense team continue to assert her innocence, claiming that she accepted the plea deal to avoid the risk of a life sentence if convicted at trial. Her husband, Mike Warren, has never been charged in connection with Marlene’s murder, although he remains a figure of interest in the case due to his relationship with Sheila and the financial gain he received from Marlene’s death.

Upon her release, Sheila plans to return to Tennessee, where she and Mike had built a life together running a burger restaurant called “The Purple Cow.” The plea deal has allowed her to escape the possibility of a harsher sentence, but she will remain a convicted murderer, a label that will follow her for the rest of her life. Sheila Keen-Warren’s case remains a stark example of the complexities and challenges in the pursuit of justice, especially in cold cases spanning decades.


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Ryan Gill

Ryan is a passionate follower of true crime television programs, reporting on and providing in-depth investigations on mysteries in the criminal world.

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