Former White House lawyer's attempted murder case going to trial
New Canaan man seeks increased freedom
STAMFORD -- The case of a New Canaan man and former Bush administration lawyer accused of choking and beating his wife with a flashlight appears headed for trial.
State's Attorney David Cohen announced during a brief hearing at state Superior Court last week that he and the defense attorney for John Michael Farren have not been able to reach an amicable resolution to the case and asked that it be put on the jury list.
Judge Richard Comerford granted the request, but did not set a date for jury selection.
When the two sides are unable to agree on resolving the case, the sticking point often involves the amount of jail time demanded by the prosecutor and defense attorney or client's unwillingness to agree with the figure.
Farren, 58, served as deputy counsel to President George W. Bush from 2007 to 2009 and as an undersecretary of commerce under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1992.
He was charged in January 2010 with attempted murder, first-degree strangulation and first-degree assault following an alleged domestic dispute between him and his wife at their New Canaan home.
After pushing a panic button in their bedroom where the dispute over a pending divorce erupted, Farren's wife escaped with her two children in a car to a neighbor's home.
The woman, who was severely injured in the assault, spent an undisclosed amount of time in the hospital. The couple's divorce trial ended in January and a judge has until mid-June to render a decision.
After spending nearly six months in jail on $2 million bond, Farren last June was released on $750,000 bond to the Institute for Living in Hartford, where he spent nearly a month in in-patient treatment.
He moved to his sister's home in West Hartford and was outfitted with a GPS bracelet and not allowed to go outside the home, his attorney, Eugene Riccio said.
As part of his agreement of release, he may only leave the home 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. He is not allowed to have contact with his wife or children.
Riccio said he was looking to expand Farren's freedoms while on home confinement that would allow him outside the home for exercise purposes and within a 20-mile limit of the home for shopping excursions and errands. The court did not take up the matter and no date has yet been set for his next court appearance.