BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) – A neighbor who tackled U.S. Sen. Rand Paul "lost his temper" over yard debris on the property line between their homes, a court filing in the federal case said.
The neighbor, Dr. Rene Boucher, is asking a judge to grant probation in the case. Prosecutors are seeking a 21-month prison sentence.
A sentencing memorandum filed Friday by Boucher’s attorney said Paul repeatedly placed "unsightly" yard debris near the property line. On the day before the Nov. 3 attack, Boucher burned some debris left by Paul, according to the document obtained by the Daily News of Bowling Green. The next day, Paul placed more debris on the spot where the pile had been burned, it said.
Boucher, 60, has pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.
Boucher’s attorney, Matt Baker, filed the 10-page document in U.S. District Court on Friday. A call to Baker’s office was not returned Monday. The filing argued that putting Boucher in prison would serve no useful purpose.
"Other than the isolated incident that is in issue, Dr. Boucher has been a pillar of his community, a solid citizen, a family man and a devout Christian," Baker wrote in his memorandum.
It said the disagreement over yard debris dates back to September 2017, when Paul piled a 10-foot-wide (3-meter-wide) stack of limbs onto a spot near Boucher’s property. The pile sat until October, when Boucher picked it up and hauled it away in portable dumpsters.
"Even though this debris was not on Dr. Boucher’s property, he viewed it as unsightly – as it was placed directly in his line of sight from his patio and the back door of his house," the court record said.
Two more piles of debris appeared in the same month, and Boucher burned the pile on Nov. 2. Boucher used gasoline and suffered second-degree burns that he needed treatment for, the memorandum said.
The next day, Paul used his lawnmower to blow leaves onto Boucher’s yard and then made another branch pile in the same spot, it said.
"As Dr. Boucher has stated throughout, he lost his temper and tackled Rand Paul as Paul was carrying branches from another location on his property and placing them on the property line," the memorandum said.
Boucher also denied that the dispute was fueled by political differences with Paul, a Republican.
"Dr. Boucher has adamantly denied any such political motivations throughout, as even the suggestion of them is completely unfounded and simply not true," the memorandum said.