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Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbor pleads not guilty in attack

  • Rene Boucher, center, appears in court for an arraignment hearing with his attorney Matt Baker, left, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, at the Warren County Justice Center in Bowling Green, Ky. Boucher pleaded not guilty to charges that he assaulted his neighbor, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. Boucher and Paul have been neighbors for 17 years in a gated community. (Austin Anthony/Daily News via AP) Austin Anthony

  • In this Sept. 25, 2017, file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Paul says he ended up with six broken ribs after a bizarre attack by his neighbor last week while he was mowing his lawn. Paul writes on Twitter on Nov. 8: “I appreciate all of the support from everyone. A medical update: final report indicates six broken ribs & new X-ray shows a pleural effusion.”(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) Pablo Martinez Monsivais

  • This photo provided by the Warren County Regional Jail shows Rene Boucher, who has been arrested and charged with assaulting and injuring U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Kentucky State Police said in a news release Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 that Paul suffered injuries when 59-year-old Rene Boucher assaulted him at his Warren County home on Friday afternoon. (Warren County Regional Jail via AP)

  • Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken speaks with members of the media regarding Rene Boucher on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, at the Warren County Justice Center. Boucher, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's long-time neighbor pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he assaulted the Kentucky Republican while he was mowing his lawn. (Austin Anthony/Daily News via AP) Austin Anthony

  • Rene Boucher, right, appears in court for an arraignment hearing with his attorney Matt Baker, left, and Warren County Attorney Amy Milliken, center, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, at the Warren County Justice Center. Boucher, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's long-time neighbor pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he assaulted the Kentucky Republican while he was mowing his lawn. (Austin Anthony/Daily News via AP) Austin Anthony



Associated Press
Thursday, November 09, 2017

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s longtime neighbor pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he assaulted the Kentucky Republican while the senator was mowing his lawn.

Rene Boucher only spoke to reply “yes sir” to a judge during a brief arraignment. He showed no emotion and kept his head down. Boucher faces up to a year in jail if convicted of fourth-degree assault.

Paul, who was not at the hearing, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that he suffered six broken ribs and has excess fluid around his lungs. The injuries have sidelined Paul from the Senate as he recovers at his home.

A prosecutor said after court that criminal charges may change because of the severity of the lawmaker’s injuries.

Warren County prosecutor Amy Milliken didn’t provide more details but said her office was working with Kentucky State Police and the FBI. She said the investigation “has not concluded.”

Milliken declined to discuss what could have caused the attack.

Boucher’s lawyer, Matt Baker, said the possibility of a federal charge “is a concern.”

“I hope that that doesn’t happen,” Baker said. “And the research that I have done thus far would indicate that there’s no applicability of the federal statute that appears to address the issue.”

He said that he’s still investigating the cause of the attack.