Sons of murder convict demand new trial after Livingston County judge's affair with MSP investigator

Judge Theresa Brennan caught having affair with lead MSP investigator

By Shawn Ley - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

HOWELL, Mich. - When a judge's credibility takes a hit, their past rulings are often scrutinized. That's what's happening in Howell, where a judge had an affair with a lead investigator.

It was revealed that Judge Theresa Brennan was having an affair with the lead Michigan State Police investigator on the Jerome Kowalski murder case.

Now, two brothers are staging a protest for their father, who they said was wrongly convicted in a case over which Brennan presided.

"People get power and abuse that power when they think they are untouchable," Jared Kowalski said.

Jerome Kowalski is serving life in prison for the murders of his brother and his sister-in-law. After information about Brennan and the MSP investigator was revealed, the Kowalski brothers questioned the judge's credibility.

"When this happened, see, we knew of this, and it just now came to light," Jared Kowalski said.

Brennan is facing a long list of complaints -- from not following the law to perjury -- from the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission,

Jerome Kowalski's sons said that adds up to a sham trial against their father, and a new one should be granted right away.

Livingston County Prosecutor William Vailliencourt hasn't budged on the new trial, and he is also targeted in the Kowalski brothers' protest.

"I am conducting a careful and thorough review of the facts and the applicable law to determine whether a new trial is required," Vailliencourt said.

Vailliencourt released the following statement:

"Once I learned of the allegations involving Judge Brennan, I requested an investigation by both the Judicial Tenure Commission and the Michigan State Police. The Attorney General has stated that he will be reviewing the State Police investigation into Judge Brennan’s conduct. Once that investigation is complete and all the facts are uncovered, the Attorney General’s office will be making a decision regarding possible charges. The Judicial Tenure Commission has already filed a complaint against the judge and ultimately only the Michigan Supreme Court that can remove her from office.

"Our focus has always been to ensure that justice is done, for the defendant as well as the family of Richard and Brenda Kowalski, who were murdered in their own home.  If anyone has any facts or information that Mr. Kowalski might be innocent, I encourage them to present that information immediately to the State Police for follow up and investigation. At this point, no one has provided them any such information.

"I am conducting a careful and thorough review of the facts and the applicable law to determine whether a new trial is required. I have consulted with Mr. Kowalski’s attorney and have also made sure that the family of the victims are aware of what is going on. This is not a decision to be made lightly. Once a decision is made, it will be handled though the appropriate judicial processes."

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