Ex-White House lawyer to enter psychiatric facility
STAMFORD -- Former White House attorney John Michael Farren posted a $750,000 bond Monday morning and was released from custody following a brief court appearance and after spending nearly six months in a state correctional facility.
The former deputy counsel to George W. Bush will admit himself to a psychiatric facility in Hartford for an undetermined stay.
Farren, whom authorities accuse of brutally choking and beating his wife with a flashlight in a violent domestic dispute over a pending divorce, was arrested Jan. 6 at the couple's New Canaan mansion. After his arraignment, Farren was held on a $2 million bond and incarcerated at the Garner Correctional Institute in Newtown. He was charged with attempted murder, first-degree strangulation and first-degree assault.
He appeared in state Superior Court in Stamford wearing a white sweatshirt and light brown khakis. He smiled to relatives in the gallery. He embraced his sister upon his release in the court security office in the basement of the courthouse when the bond paperwork was filed and Farren was released from custody.
With his lawyers and relatives, Farren left the courthouse for the Institute of Living in Hartford, where he will receive psychiatric treatment for an undetermined amount of time.
A judge agreed to reduce Farren's bond to $750,000 after defense attorneys in April argued a $2 million bail was excessive. Judge Richard Comerford postponed the bond reduction until Monday, when the prosecutors and defense agreed on strict conditions of release According to the agreement, which was placed in Farren's court file following his hearing, the hospital must hold him for 72 hours if he decides to leave.
The hospital must immediately notify the Stamford state's attorney's office and the bail commissioner of Farren's intention to leave.
Once his treatment is complete, he will remain under house arrest at a private home in West Hartford and be outfitted with a GPS tracking device under the direction of the bail commissioner.
Farren will not be allowed to travel beyond 20 miles of the home and will have to notify the bail commissioner of the purpose, destination and duration of the trip.
He may only leave to visit a doctor or attorney or other experts in preparation of his case, for court appearances, to attend religious services and to visit a law library in Hartford.
The agreement also states there will be an order prohibiting him from contacting his wife, children or any of his wife's relatives.
Farren is due back in court Aug. 5, depending on whether his treatment at the Institute of Living has ended.