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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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Jury convicts Farren on all counts

Published 1:06 pm, Friday, July 11, 2014
  • The jury in the criminal trial of John Michael Farren, of New Canaan, found him guilty of all three counts on July 11, 2014. Farren, 60, was convicted of attempted murder, first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor after he beat his then-wife in January 2010, according to police. Photo: File Photo, Advocate / New Canaan News

    The jury in the criminal trial of John Michael Farren, of New Canaan, found him guilty of all three counts on July 11, 2014. Farren, 60, was convicted of attempted murder, first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor after he beat his then-wife in January 2010, according to police.

    Photo: File Photo, Advocate

 

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In a case that took more than four years to come to trial, jurors took little more than a day to convict former White House attorney J. Michael Farren of trying to kill his wife in their New Canaan mansion.

Farren was in the courtroom for the verdict Friday for the first time during the trial. He made a request last week to be tried in absentia saying he was unable to cope mentally with the evidence against him, and he hoped his absence would quell media interest in the case.

During three days of testimony this week, jurors heard from police, medics and from his now ex-wife Mary Margaret Farren herself detailing the severity of the beating she sustained the night of Jan. 6, 2010 -- two days after she served him with divorce papers to end their 15-year marriage.

Farren was charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault and risk of injury to a child. He could face a maximum of 50 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Through a series of legal maneuvers and appeals, Farren successfully blocked the start of this week's trial for four years. He filed two more appeals on Monday to block the start of the trial with the state Appellate Court.

During the trial, Farren's defense attorneys admitted that Farren, 61, beat his wife badly, but took issue with the severity of the charges brought against him and whether the state had made its case against the former Xerox general counsel, who also served two Bush presidents in Washington, D.C.