Rene Boucher, the neighbor of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul who assaulted the lawmaker over a dispute about yard waste, has been sentenced to an additional seven months behind bars, plus six months’ home confinement, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Boucher had been sentenced to 30 days in jail, plus 100 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine. He had already served those 30 days; however, prosecutors had argued that the initial sentence was too light given the severity of Paul’s injuries. Even as Boucher served his sentence, prosecutors had been angling for a chance to make their case for a harsher sentence.
Their appeal for a new sentencing hearing was granted, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Shepard asked for at least 21 months of jail time.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Leitman sentenced Boucher to eight months in prison, to be followed six months home confinement. However, Leitman gave the assailant credit for the time he’d already served, meaning he’ll spend only seven more months behind bars.
Further, he’ll be on supervised release for the next 18 months, during which he’s to have no contact with the senator or his family.
Boucher’s attorney, Matthew J. Baker, argued that imposing an additional sentence would improperly punish Boucher more than once for the same crime.
Paul and Boucher butted heads over the senator’s lawn maintenance, and things came to a head on Nov. 3, 2017. At the time, Paul, who is deaf in one ear, was wearing noise-canceling headphones, which enabled Boucher to sneak up on him undetected. Boucher, who would later reportedly say that he’d “had enough” with the lawmaker’s lawn-maintenance habits, appeared to become angry when Paul stacked brush clippings near their shared property line. Boucher then ran onto Paul’s property before tackling and assaulting him, as The New York Times reported at the time.
Paul claims that during the assault, he was knocked 10 feet in the air from the force of the attack, according to NBC News. He suffered either five or six broken ribs, according to conflicting reports, as well as a bruised lung.
“I don’t know what a night without pain is like or what a day without pain is like, so I do suffer from this. This was no routine altercation. This was no sort of face-to-face, man-to-man thing,” said Paul at the hearing, noting that he’d had several bouts of pneumonia following the assault, and even had to have hernia surgery to repair the damage done from the persistent coughing he’s endured.