The neighbor of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is not taking responsibility for his attack on the Kentucky lawmaker.
Rene Boucher pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of assaulting his longtime neighbor while Paul was mowing his lawn last week.
Boucher’s only words were “yes sir” as he replied to a judge during the arraignment Thursday, keeping his head lowered and showing no emotion, according to ABC News.
If convicted of fourth-degree assault, the 59 year-old faces up to a year in jail for the attack that left the second-term Republican senator with six broken ribs and excess fluid around his lungs.
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Paul, who may be unable to serve in the Senate for months while recovering at his Bowling Green home, was not at the hearing Thursday. The severity of his injuries may lead to criminal charges being filed, according to a prosecutor who spoke after the court session, ABC News reported.
The office of Warren County prosecutor Amy Milliken is working with Kentucky State Police and the FBI, she shared, though did not provide further details. The investigation “has not concluded,” she said.
“I hope that that doesn’t happen,” Boucher’s lawyer Matt Baker said, admitting the possibility of a a federal charge “is a concern.”
“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.
Local residents described the anesthesiologist as a socialist who often fought with neighbors about health care policies and other liberal issues.
“It has nothing to do with politics,” Baker added. “It has zero to do with Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, anything along those lines. It has to do with a disagreement between two neighbors.”
Boucher was released from jail on a $7,500 bond the day after the attack and ordered to stay away from the senator and his family, his neighbors for 17 years.
A pre-trial court date was set for Nov. 30 by Warren County District Judge Brent Potter, ABC News reported.
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