The neighbor who assaulted Sen. Rand Paul outside his Kentucky home and served 30 days in federal prison may have to spend more time behind bars.
A federal appeals court on Monday ordered the resentencing of Rene Boucher, ruling there was “no compelling justification” for the one-month term.
The three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated what it called a “well-below-guidelines” sentence.
“Accepting that Boucher’s attack did not appear to be politically motivated, Paul’s status as a national political figure is still relevant to the broader ‘goals of societal deterrence’ served by Boucher’s sentence,” Judge Jane Stranch wrote.
Boucher tackled Paul in 2017 after becoming angry about lawn maintenance at the Republican senator’s home. Paul, now 56, suffered broken ribs and lung damage, and the attack led to bouts of pneumonia and multiple surgeries.
The defendant pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and has already served his 30-day sentence in Illinois. He has since sold his property located next to Paul in the upscale Bowling Green neighborhood.
“We believe that the trial judge got it right the first time,” Boucher’s lawyer Matt Baker told The Associated Press on Monday. “And now it looks like we’re going to be back at square one with regard to sentencing. It’s just very disappointing to have gone through this entire process and to have come full circle.”
Baker said he’s mulling taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Monday’s ruling came in response to an appeal by prosecutors, who argued 21 months would have been a more suitable sentence. The appeals court did not take a position on sentencing.
Paul sued Boucher after the attack and a jury awarded the former presidential candidate more than $580,000 in damages and medical expenses.
With News Wire Services