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Ex-White House Lawyer Posts $750K Bail in Case Over Alleged Murder Attempt on Attorney Wife

Posted Jun 8, 2010 3:06 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Accused of beating his attorney wife with a metal flashlight so severely that her mental functioning was impaired, a former White House lawyer charged with attempted murder and first-degree strangulation has now posted $750,000 bail and been released to a mental hospital for treatment.

John Michael Farren, 57, will be under house arrest at a relative's Connecticut home once he is discharged from the Institute of Living in Hartford, reports the Associated Press. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Farren posted the bond yesterday in state Superior Court in Stamford and was immediately released to the mental hospital, reports the Stamford Times.

However, he will not be released, according to the conditions of his bond, until he completes psychiatric treatment or, should he try to depart before he does so, for 72 hours. If he seeks to leave before completing treatment, the hospital is to notify the prosecutor in the case and bail commissioner immediately, the newspaper explains.

He will be housed in a locked ward, and is not permitted to contact his now-former wife, her relatives or the couple's children, reports the New Canaan Advertiser.

Farren served in both Bush administrations, as deputy White House counsel for President George W. Bush and as President George H.W. Bush's undersecretary for international trade.

As detailed in earlier ABAJournal.com posts, Farren is accused of attacking his wife, attorney Mary Margaret Farren, in their Connecticut home in January after she refused to back down on her plans to divorce him. The incident followed the apparent fizzling of his legal career.

She subsequently filed a civil suit seeking to preserve assets and testified in a hearing in the case that her ability to think quickly and hence perform her $300,000-a-year job at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom was impaired by the attack.

She also reportedly suffered a broken jaw and facial bones.

The divorce case concluded in April with a $4.1 million settlement to Mary Farren, after Judge Brazzel-Massaro held that she is unable to provide for the couple's two children due to the attack by her husband, the Stamford Times reports.

However, John Michael Farren was allowed to keep enough of the couple's money to pay his lawyers and post bond.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Ex-White House Attorney Charged in Attempted Murder of His Wife, a Skadden Lawyer"

ABAJournal.com: "Attempted Murder Case Against Former White House Lawyer Followed Fizzling of His Legal Career"

ABAJournal.com: "Ex-White House Lawyer Accused of Strangling Wife Now Faces a Civil Suit"

ABAJournal.com: "Ex-White House Lawyer Takes 5th in Wife’s $15M Damages Suit Over Alleged Murder Attempt"

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