WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida decide has reluctantly delayed the trial of a girl accused of dressing like a clown and fatally capturing her lover’s spouse greater than 30 years ago after protection attorneys stated they’re having a tough time contacting witnesses.

The trial for Sheila Eager-Warren was supposed to start June 3. However on Tuesday Palm Seashore County Circuit Choose Scott Suskauer agreed to what could possibly be a four-month delay, the Palm Seashore Put up reported.

Suskauer stated he had already cleared his schedule, delaying different trials and hearings to have the ability to preside over a three-week trial.

“Take into consideration the influence it has on me. I’ve an obligation to the general public,” Suskauer informed the legal professionals. “You even have a sufferer’s household that has waited a very long time for justice.”

That is the sixth time the trial has been delayed.

It was Might 1990 when Marlene Warren opened her door and was shot within the face by a clown delivering carnations and balloons to her dwelling in Wellington, a suburb of West Palm Seashore, court docket data present.

Sheila Eager Warren beneath arrest in 2017. Prosecutors say they’ll search the demise penalty in opposition to Warren, who’s accused of dressing up like a clown in 1990 and fatally capturing the spouse of her future husband.

The previous Sheila Eager, rumored to be having an affair with Marlene Warren’s husband, Michael Warren, was thought-about a suspect, however the case in opposition to her appeared skinny. Two nights earlier than the killing, a girl confirmed up at a dressing up retailer telling clerks she urgently wanted a clown go well with, an orange wig, white gloves, a pink nostril and sufficient white make-up to cowl her face utterly. One of many clerks recognized her in a photograph lineup, however the different clerk wasn’t certain.

She later married Michael Warren and so they had been residing in Virginia when investigators stated DNA offered the proof they wanted to arrest her in 2017.

Assistant State Lawyer Reid Scott agreed the most recent delay was unavoidable.

“I need this defendant to be absolutely ready for trial,” Scott stated. “I don’t need to cope with appellate points.”

The protection staff — Richard Lubin, Greg Rosenfeld and Amy Morse — blamed Scott, writing that he didn’t present them with names and addresses of key witnesses who at the moment are scattered throughout the nation.

The protection staff additionally stated they should view proof, together with hair fibers, two balloons, a Publix bag and automobile rental papers, that was not in an proof locker on the sheriff’s workplace. These gadgets had been despatched to forensics for additional evaluation, they stated.

“Typically, a prison prosecution is simple: The police examine against the law, the police arrest a suspect, and the state prosecutes the suspect,” however this case hasn’t been dealt with that manner, they wrote.

“Following the arrest, the police and state continued their investigation,” they wrote. “This backwards prosecution has hampered Ms. Eager-Warren’s skill to organize for trial.”

As a result of a lot time has handed for the reason that killing, sworn depositions have been taken from some witnesses who both can’t or received’t seem.

“It is a very tough state of affairs,” Lubin informed the newspaper. “It is a long-ago occasion. Witnesses are of their 60s, 70s and 80s. A few of them are useless. Others are debilitated.”