Former Bush administration attorney trial set for June

STAMFORD -- More than four years after he was arrested for allegedly attempting to murder his then-wife, former Bush administration attorney J. Michael Farren is slated to go to trial on the criminal charges against him.

Judge Richard Comerford set firm dates for jury selection and evidence presentation during Farren's appearance Friday at Stamford Superior Court. Farren, who represents himself, will begin jury selection on May 27, and the trial will start on June 17. He is charged with attempted murder, risk of injury to a minor and two counts of first-degree assault.

Farren has undergone a series of psychiatric and psychological evaluations by experts in an apparent attempt to establish a mental disease or defect defense. Comerford ordered Farren to provide the state with all relevant documents pertaining to the expert evaluations prior to the beginning of the trial. He said he gave the order "so that the state is not in the position of being ambushed at the time of trial."

Comerford also shot down Farren's motion to recuse State's Attorney Richard Colangelo. Farren had argued that Colangelo will be called as a witness at his ongoing divorce proceeding.

New Canaan Police arrested Farren on Jan. 6, 2010, for attempting to beat his wife Mary to death with a large flashlight during an argument about the couple's pending divorce, according to court documents.

Mary Farren was able to escape the attack, grab her two young children and drive to a Weed Street house, according to court documents. The Weed Street residents called police, and Farren was taken to Norwalk Hospital.

According to court documents, the victim sustained a broken nose and jaw, facial fractures and various large cuts on her head. She was bleeding profusely and vomiting blood when she agreed to be interviewed by police.

Farren was released after posting $750,000 bond on June 6, 2010, and he was placed under house arrest in West Hartford.

Since his release, Farren has parted ways with his attorney Eugene Riccio, who is currently serving as stand-by counsel, and tried to have a public defender assigned to his case. Farren claimed indigency due to the substantial award in his divorce case, but the public defender's office found that Farren had enough money to pay for counsel.

Mary Farren was awarded $28.6 million in damages in December 2013 after a jury found J. Michael Farren liable for assault and battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Farren has filed a motion to reopen judgement in the case.

Farren was general counsel at Xerox Corp. in 2007 when he was named deputy White House counsel during former President George W. Bush's second term. He was previously undersecretary for international trade in the Commerce Department under Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush. He also served as deputy manager for the elder Bush's 1992 re-election campaign and deputy director for his transition team in 1989.