In an ABC News report Mary Margaret Farren filed a civil suit against her ex-husband, John Michael Farren for a brutal bludgeoning that she had endured from his hands almost four years ago at their New Canaan mansion in Connecticut.
John Farren had been a deputy White House counsel under George W. Bush.
A jury of six has decided to award Mary Farren $28.6 million after hearing five and a half day of hearings from multiple witnesses and after they reviewed intense photos and videos in a courtroom in Stamford, Conn.
On January 4, 2010, Mary Farren who is 47-years-old and an accomplished attorney and a rising star at prestigious Skadden Arps in Washington, D.C., served John Farren, 61, with divorce papers.
In an emotional morning of testimony on Friday December 13, 2013 in the Stamford Superior Court, Mary Farren told the jury she saw her husband, the father of her children, becoming more and more agitated and angered because she was refusing to obey his demands to withdraw the divorce papers that she had filed. She had already agreed to a reconciliation, which would delay the divorce for six months, and go to counseling, she said her husband didn’t want any part of that.
She stated that on January 6, 2010 my husband, John, went “berserk” and launched an assault on me that has left me with a host of permanent physical, psychological and emotional problems.
Mary spoke for almost 90 minutes to the jury telling them the events that had unfolded on that horrible horrific night and the lasting effects it has had on her and their children.
Mary Farren told the jury John Farren, her husband, had wrapped his hands around her neck and tossed me to the ground and hit me with repeated blows as he pulled clumps of my hair out from my head. She cried as she told the jury that John said, “I’m killing you” as he was smashing her over the head with a Mag-light flashlight.
She stated, “I was certain I was going to die,” and saying to the jury, “I was terrified what was going to happen to my 7-year-old and 4-month-old daughters;” and saying, “A rush of adrenaline caused me to crawl to the front of the bedroom and allowed me to pull up by a dresser and to hit a security button on the wall that alerts authorities of an emergency at the house.”
Mary Farren told the jury she was bleeding profusely at the time from her head and wavering in and out of consciousness. She told a teary eyed jury she somehow managed to get to her oldest daughter’s bedroom and ordered her to get into the car, and saying, “Daddy is trying to kill me.”
She told the jury she was determined to get to her younger infant daughter and stumbling into her bedroom, I scooped her up and then placed her in the front seat of the car. She said, “My vision was blurry as I sped down the street until I found a house with its light on; and I was about to black out and I drove onto the front lawn of John and Barbara Achenbaum’s house.
John Achenbaum testified to the jury there was a loud screech, a horn blare and a loud bang on their front door; and when Achenbaum opened his door, Mary Farren told him that her children were in the car, “My husband is trying to kill me, I’m going to die” and she collapsed in their foyer.
Barbara Achenbaum told the jury, “It was something like you’d see in a horror film,” “Her features could not be distinguished and there was blood everywhere and her hair was wild.”
Mary Farren told the jury when she woke up in the hospital, “My head felt like it had been pulverized;” and clinging to life she was “cold”, drained, and in an incredible amount of pain.” There were numerous medical professionals that testified about the lengthy recovery and rehabilitation related to her traumatic brain injury and lacerations.
She is still suffering from headaches, vertigo, memory loss and a host of other medical problems that have resulted from her husband’s beating. Her doctors attest that she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain disorder and she will not ever be able to function as she once did.
The day of the opening argument were set to take place, Mary Farren’s attorneys, Ernie Teitell and Paul Stager, filed a motion to default because of John Farren’s failure to appear in court. Judge Genuario granted the motion the next morning and the court proceeded to the Hearings in Damages portion of the trial.
ABC News made several attempts to reach John Farren to obtain his comments about his ex-wife’s testimony or on the jury award but they were not successful.
The civil case has moved ahead but the criminal trial is pending; and it is expected to start next spring. John Farren is facing charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault and risk of injury to a child, and if he is convicted, he could face 70 years behind bars.
John Farren has dumped his current lawyer, “filed and contested various motions,” and has recently petitioned for representation by a public defender, “claiming he is destitute,” according to the Stamford Advocate. The court has advised that Farren does not qualify for a public defender.
In my opinion this case epitomizes a severe case of physical and mental abuse with no respect whatsoever for his wife, Mary Farren, and their two children. John Farren had gotten so use to playing the “power-player” game in Washington, D.C., as a once deputy White House counsel that when his wife would not accept his demand to withdraw the divorce papers and adhere to his demands, he went totally “ballistic” and tried to beat his wife into a stage of submission.
In my opinion John Farren was a man that had become so fixated with power that it caused him to go on a “rampage” that has destroyed his marriage and will more than likely end his power career for the remainder of his life.
Barbara Kasey Smith is the writer of this article and it is based on an ABC News Report.
ABC News Report