Judge: New Canaan Man Not Required To Attend His Attempted Murder Trial

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- A former White House counsel charged with trying to kill his wife in their New Canaan mansion in 2010 is not required to attend his own trial, a Stamford Superior Court judge ruled last week, according to

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J. Michael Farren's criminal trial begins Monday, July 7, reported. Judge Richard Comerford made the unusual ruling after Farren said that attending the trial could cause him significant psychological problems, said.

He is accused of brutally beating his wife, Mary Margaret Farren, with a Maglite flashlight in their New Canaan home on Jan. 6, 2010, two days after she served him with divorce papers. She is expected to testify. 

Farren is facing 70 years in prison if found guilty of attempted murder, risk of injury to a child and two counts of first-degree assault.

A jury in a civil trial has already awarded $28 million in damages to Mary Margaret Farren in the incident.

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