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Ex-Bush lawyer charged in assault on wife

NEW CANAAN, Conn., Jan. 8 (UPI) -- A lawyer who worked for both President George W. and George H.W. Bush was arrested for allegedly attempting to kill his wife at his Connecticut home.

Police charged John Michael Farren, 57, of New Canaan, with attempted murder and first-degree strangulation after authorities received a panic alarm, the Greenwich (Conn.) Time reported Thursday.

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Farren was arraigned in state Superior Court in Norwalk Thursday. He was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bond.

His wife, Mary Farren, said the dispute began when Farren wanted to discuss with her divorce papers she had served on him earlier this week.

During Farren's bond hearing, his wife's attorney, Andrew Bowman, said she was the victim of a "brutal attack" with a large flashlight. She and their two children fled the home after she hit the panic alarm, the attorney said.

A police report said she sustained a broken jaw, injuries to her face and head, and was beaten unconscious, requiring hospitalization.

"She is terrified of him and we ask as many restrictions be placed upon him as possible," Bowman said.

Farren appeared in court with a large bandage on his neck, the Time reported. Police said he was placed on a suicide watch after officers overheard him saying he wanted to kill himself.

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Farren was deputy counsel for President George W. Bush from 2007 until he left office. He was secretary for international trade for President George H.W. Bush in 1989, and deputy manager for the unsuccessful Bush-Quayle re-election campaign.

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