A neighbor of Sen. Rand Paul pleaded guilty Friday to a violent November attack over landscaping that left the Republican senator with six broken ribs and sidelined him from work in Congress on the tax overhaul.
Rene Boucher, 59, during a brief hearing in federal court in Kentucky, was found guilty of one count of assaulting a member of Congress, his attorney said. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 15.
Boucher charged and tackled Paul after becoming angry that the senator was stacking more brush on a pile near his yard on Nov. 3, according to court documents. An acquaintance of both men said they had long-simmering tensions over the way Paul cared for his property and had not spoken in years.
Boucher and federal prosecutors reached a plea deal in January over the incident, which was one of the worst assaults on a sitting senator in decades and generated weeks of coverage in Washington.
Matthew J. Baker, an attorney for Boucher, said his client was looking forward to having the case resolved.
“We are one step closer to closure,” Baker said. “Dr. Boucher is very interested in getting this behind him.”
Paul’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, which is handling the case, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Boucher has not publicly commented on the charges. Baker said his client spoke Friday only to answer yes-or-no questions from a judge in the Bowling Green courtroom.
Federal prosecutors have recommended a sentence of 21 months for Boucher, but Baker said he is hoping a judge will sentence his client to probation.
Boucher and Paul, both doctors, have lived next door to each other in a gated community in Bowling Green. for nearly two decades. Authorities said Boucher admitted going on Paul’s property and tackling him.
Baker has said there was no political motivation for the attack.