Because of her unscrupulous and illegal behavior, a convicted murderer may get a second chance at freedom, while the judge could be sentenced to up to 15 years.


Livingston County District Court Judge Theresa Brennan was arraigned on three felony charges on Tuesday.

Genesee County Judge G. David Guinn ordered Brennan to surrender her passport, but she was basically free to go after the hearing.

Brennan was charged last week with perjury, tampering with evidence and common law offenses by the Michigan Attorney General’s office, concerning behavior that seems bizarre.

However, the interesting twist in the case is that her adultery and actions could lead to a second trial for a convicted murderer.

The Livingston Daily reported in April, 2017, “Brennan was under investigation by the Judicial Tenure Commission.

“Transcripts from depositions in her divorce from now ex-husband Don Root raised questions about whether she was having an affair with Michigan State Police Detective Sean Furlong during a murder trial for Jerome Kowalski.”

Brennan “made three extended” phone calls to Furlong during the Kowalski trial, and “records show 231 phone calls – representing 1,147 minutes – between Brennan and Furlong between November, 2011 and December, 2012.”

Furlong was a key investigator in the conviction, and “Brennan sentenced Kowalski to life in prison, the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder.”

Jerome Kowalski’s son, Jared, was in court Tuesday morning, excited to have a chance at a possible second trial, “It’s a good start,” he said. “I think the charges truly show the type of character, not just with my father’s case but with other cases.”

“Jared Kowlaksi and other family members attended several hearings held by the Judicial Tenure Commission. The family wants a new trial for Jerome Kowalski and have urged Livingston County Prosecutor Bill Vailliencourt to charge Brennan.”

State Senator Joe Hune also attended the hearing and said Brennan “needs to go.”

Brennan’s attorney, Larry Willey, asked Judge Guinn to release Brennan on her own recognizance, saying, “She has no criminal history,” and “She has been a resident of Livingston County for almost her whole life.”

“Guinn was appointed by the State Court Administrative office to oversee the case and ordered that no video and use of Twitter would be allowed during the hearing, despite an objection by the Livingston Daily.”

Hune called for Brennan to resign more than six months ago and said on Monday, “Citizens have had enough of her antics.”

John Conely claimed he was one of Brennan’s “first victims” several years ago, although he did not explain the nature of his comment.

“I’m a mechanic by trade,” he said. “I like to fix things… Things are starting to get fixed now.”

Brennan was removed from her caseload on June 13, amid the Judicial Tenure Commission complaint but continues to be paid.

She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the perjury charge.

“Schuette’s office alleges that Brennan gave false testimony regarding a cell phone that was considered a marital asset during hearings in her own divorce case and that she tampered with evidence in an official proceeding.

“It also said she committed misconduct by failing to recuse herself immediately from her own divorce case and used the delay to dispose of evidence.

“Earlier this year, Brennan testified she had the cell phone restored to factory settings, contrary to her previous testimony in her 2016 divorce case. That phone is currently in the custody of the state police.

“During a Judicial Tenure Commission hearing in October, Brennan’s court reporter Felicia Milhouse said she was asked by Brennan to look up how to delete Hotmail and Gmail accounts from a phone.

“The Michigan State Police Computer Crime Unit confirmed that Milhouse’s work computer was used to make searches on how to deactivate and terminate a Hotmail account two days after a motion was filed by her now ex-husband’s attorney to preserve evidence in the divorce case, according to the charging affidavit.”