Former White House Lawyer Faces Criminal Charges

John Farren says he is not mentally fit to stand trial for the alleged attempted murder of his ex-wife.
2:23 | 05/27/14

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Transcript for Former White House Lawyer Faces Criminal Charges
We're going to turn to the former white house lawyer charged with trying to murder his wife. He's acting as his own attorney. Marva schiavocampo tracking the case. Reporter: That high-powered lawyer is facing criminal charges of attempted murder and first-degree assault. Now, he says he's unfit to stand trial. John far, former trial lawyer for George W. Bush, is preparing for a civil trial, months after claims he tried to kill his ex-wife, accused of brutally beating her in 2010. In December, a jury awarded her. Now, as the new trial is about to get under way, he claims he is mentally unfit. He's arguing the reason why I did it is I was mentally ill. The judge said, that's bogus. Reporter: During her 90-minute emotional testimony, Mary told jurors her then-husband, nearly beat her to death. At times with a flashlight, after she served him with divorce papers. She was strangling me. And slamming my face into the floor. Reporter: Officials say Mary Farren suffered a broken nose and jaw. My head felt pulverized. And I was so cold. And just feeling very drained, incredible pain. Reporter: Mary Farren, a rising star at a D.C. Law firm, reportedly made $500,000 a year before the attack. During the trial, a rehab counselor testified she may not have to work again, because of a brain injury and PTSD. I just get incredibly overwhelmed. I just can't multitask. Reporter: John Farren, who represented himself, never showed up to court, claiming in an e-mail he was hospitalized. Now, he'll face a different jury in a criminal trial. And if convicted, up to 70 years in prison. Farren is free on $750,000 bail. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. A date for jury selection is expected to be set after today's hearing. George? Lara? Some facts there. Thank you, Mara.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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