The man who attacked Sen. Rand Paul from behind and broke his ribs was sentenced today to one month behind bars. From the Bowling Green Daily News:
Dr. Rene Boucher will serve 30 days in prison for the assault of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, bringing to an end a case that attracted considerable intrigue for several months.
Special Judge Marianne Battani sentenced Boucher, 60, on Friday in U.S. District Court on the charge of assaulting a member of Congress, levying a $10,000 fine and ordering Boucher to perform 100 hours of community service following his release from prison, during which he will be on supervised release for a year…
“What I did was wrong and I’m sincerely sorry for what I did,” Boucher said in court. “It’s not something I’m proud of, I’m embarrassed and I hope (Paul) and his family will one day be able to accept my apology, if possible. I lost my temper and I did not behave well, and I was wrong. I did not think I would be in a courthouse at the center of all this.”
Boucher’s attorneys had asked the judge to give him probation. Paul’s attorneys were seeking a 21-month sentence. Sen. Paul did not attend the sentencing but sent the paper a statement after the hearing:
“No one deserves to be violently assaulted,” Paul said in a statement emailed to the Daily News after the hearing. “A felony conviction with jail time is appropriate and hopefully will deter the attacker from further violence. I commend the FBI and Department of Justice for treating this violent, premeditated assault with the seriousness it deserves.”
Paul’s attorney argued in court that this wasn’t a bar fight where two guys squared off after too many drinks, this was an attack on someone who had their back turned, one which resulted in a significant injury. As for what motivated this, Boucher and his attorney have claimed from the start that it was a disagreement over lawn care. From Roll Call:
Rene Boucher, 60, didn’t like where his neighbor of 17 years, Paul, was putting his yard debris.
In September 2017 the junior GOP senator from Kentucky stacked a 10-foot-wide mound of branches near the line separating his property in Bowling Green from Boucher’s…
In October, Boucher had the branches loaded into portable dumpsters and carried off.
But then, other piles appeared — two of them.
Boucher burned the pile and injured himself. So the next day when Paul put branches in the same spot, Boucher lost it.
I don’t know if this story is true. Sen. Paul hasn’t directly contradicted it that I’ve seen. But even if it is true, Paul has a right to put branches on his own property. From what I can tell, there’s no claim the pile was in Boucher’s yard.
And I still wonder if the fact that Boucher had issues with Sen. Paul’s political views didn’t play into this. Yes, I know the judge has accepted that wasn’t the case, but I don’t really buy it. In my experience, once you decide you have a bad neighbor, anything that person does is more likely to annoy you. Boucher didn’t like Paul’s politics. Maybe yard maintenance is what set him off in this instance, but who can say if that would have happened had Paul been a Senator with views more to his liking.