No-show attorney hit with default judgment
A Stamford judge on Tuesday granted a motion finding former White House attorney John Michael Farren culpable for the horrifying injuries his wife suffered when Farren attacked her in their New Canaan mansion nearly four years ago after he failed to show up for his civil damages trial two days in a row.
A video of Farren's battered wife was shown in court Tuesday. Taken at Norwalk Hospital after the attack, the video showed close-ups of a sutured gash to the scalp, hair matted with blood, two black eyes, bruising all over the face and the right side of her throat cut. Other photos taken at the New Canaan police station on the night of the assault and displayed to the jury showed Farren's hands bloodied, with cuts and bruises.
Farren, 60, who is representing himself and appeared in court for four days last week in jeans and a red sweater to pick nine jurors, says he is in a Hartford area hospital and unable to come to court.
Genuario said emails were sent back to Farren in hopes of trying to figure out what was going on, but there were no replies.
Farren's former wife, Mary Margaret Farren, is suing him for millions as a result of the injuries she suffered on the night of January 6, 2010, in their 9,500-square-foot Wahackme Road home. After the attack, Farren, a former White House attorney under George W. Bush and a general counsel for Xerox, has been criminally charged with attempted murder, two counts of first-degree assault and risk of injury to a child. He was released months later after posting $750,000 bond.
Calls made to Farren's phone seeking comment were not immediately returned.
According to Mary Farren's court documents, she told Farren she wanted a divorce on Jan. 4, 2010. Two days later, Farren asked her to drop the divorce action. She refused and he went berserk.
Although Genuario granted the default motion filed by Mary Farren's attorneys, Ernie Teitell and Paul Slager, Genuario said if Farren returned to court he could file a motion to vacate the order that the judge would consider.
Teitell declined comment on the default judgment.
With the judgment made and the proceedings able to go on without Farren, Teitell and Slager began presenting witnesses Tuesday to determine damages in the case.
As well as hearing testimony from some Weed Street neighbors who told the jury how Mary Farren unexpectedly arrived at their home bloody and bruised with her two small children on Jan. 6, 2010, a medic also took the stand to describe her injuries.
New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps Emergency Medical Technician Amy Kennedy, said that when she got to the Weed Street home she saw Mary Farren lying in a pool of blood.
Kennedy said she was bleeding profusely just inside the front door of the home, as if someone had poured a 12-ounce can of blood under her head. She said a shivering, crying and very frightened Mary Farren had a gash that ran from her hairline on her forehead to the back of her head, and "angry red" strangle marks on her throat. Kennedy said the gash looked like a cracked watermelon and she could see the wound was deep. Kennedy said they later found clumps of hair in the bathrobe she was wearing and she could see tufts of hair that had been pulled out was still sticking to her head.
Mary Farren also had a cut and large bruise on her right cheek and when Kennedy asked if her teeth felt correctly aligned, Mary Farren said no, which indicated to Kennedy that her face had been fractured.
When Kennedy asked what happened, Mary Farren told her that her husband tried to kill her. Kennedy said Mary Farren told her that her husband pulled "gobs" of her hair out and pummeled her with his fists.
"My husband is trying to kill me," Kennedy said Farren told her. Kennedy also said that Farren told her, "I always knew he was dangerous," but Genuario cut her off and told the jury to disregard Kennedy's comments about what Farren said about her husband.
Outside the courtroom Kennedy said that Mary Farren told her that her husband was a very powerful man and that she feared he would get to her and kill her.