Accused wife beater can’t use mental health defense

Gavel

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A former White House lawyer charged with trying to kill his wife in Connecticut has lost a legal fight over whether he can use a mental health defense at his trial.

The state Appellate Court has rejected John Michael Farren’s appeals of rulings by Stamford Superior Court Judge Richard Comerford, who told Farren on May 1 that he couldn’t use a mental health defense. Farren’s appeals were dismissed Wednesday.

Comerford is expected to decide next week when jury selection can begin. It was supposed to start next Tuesday.

The 61-year-old Farren worked for both Bush administrations and is a former general counsel for Xerox Corp.

He’s accused of beating his wife nearly to death at their New Canaan home in 2010. He has pleaded not guilty and is representing himself.

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