Ex-Bush lawyer pleads not guilty in attack on wife

Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.

STAMFORD, Conn. — An attorney who worked in both Bush administrations has pleaded not guilty to Connecticut charges that he tried to kill his wife by beating her with a flashlight and choking her two days after she delivered divorce papers.

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John Michael Farren, 57, of New Canaan, Conn, is arraigned in state Superior Court in Norwalk, Conn, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010. Farren, a onetime top attorney to former President George W. Bush is accused of trying to kill his wife at their Connecticut home by beating her with a flashlight and choking her. Farren, 57, is charged with strangulation and attempted murder.

Stamford Advocate, Kerry Sherck/The Associated Pre

Fifty-seven-year-old John Michael Farren appeared Thursday in Stamford Superior Court. Farren's lawer, Eugene Riccio, said Farren pleaded not guilty to charges of strangulation, attempted murder and a new charge of first-degree assault.

Police say his wife, Mary Farren, was beaten so severely Jan. 6 at their New Canaan home that she was at points knocked unconscious and lost vision.

Farren was deputy White House counsel during President George W. Bush's second term. He was undersecretary for international trade in the Commerce Department under Bush's father, President George H.W. Bush.

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