Local Judge's Affair With Murder Trial Detective Getting International Attention
April 20, 2017
The sexual affair involving a Livingston County judge and the lead detective in an Oceola Township double homicide has now made international headlines.
The Japanese-based morning television show Tokodane is airing today a news segment featuring the case of 53rd District Court Judge Theresa Brennan, whose divorce case has unearthed an ongoing affair with Michigan State Police Lt. Sean Furlong, who was the lead detective and prosecution witness during the 2013 murder trial of Jerome Kowalski, who was charged in the murders of his brother and sister-in-law in their Lyngre Drive home in 2008. Kowalski was convicted and sentenced to life in prison by Judge Brennan based on a confession he made to Lt. Furlong, who has admitted that he and the judge were engaged in a sexual affair, although they insist it didn't begin until after the trial. But filings in the divorce case allege it began as early as 2009 and that phone records show Brennan and Furlong spoke extensively during the trial, which has been described as a violation of judicial ethics by Brennan for contacting a witness during a murder trial.
Scott Filipski is the Senior Producer for Fuji TV, which produces the Tokodane show. Speaking from New York, he explained why the case had caught their attention. "I guess the fact that a judge was involved in what appears to be a an inappropriate relationship and how that may very well have had a tremendous impact on the case of Mr. Kowalski, a man currently incarcerated for this double murder charge. That seemed very interesting and we said, 'Okay, let's look into it deeper.'" Filipski says they have also interviewed Jared Kowalski, Jerome Kowalski’s son, about the case as well as local attorney Tom Kizer, who represented Brennan’s ex-husband Donald Root in the divorce case.
Meanwhile, several investigations are thought to be underway involving the relationship between Brennan and Furlong, including by the State Police for possible criminal wrongdoing as well as by the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, although neither of those agencies have confirmed that. (JK)