U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s neighbor pleads not guilty to assaulting lawmaker as he mowed lawn

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Longtime neighbor of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul pleads not guilty to assaulting Kentucky lawmaker as he mowed lawn.

Rene Boucher was wearing a suit and barely spoke in the courtroom, only saying “yes sir” to a judge. He showed no emotion and kept his head down during the brief proceeding.

Boucher faces up to a year in jail if convicted on the charge. Boucher, Paul’s next-door neighbor, is accused of attacking the Washington lawmaker last Friday.

Paul wrote on Twitter Wednesday that he suffered six broken ribs and a pleural effusion, which is excess fluid around the lungs. The injuries have sidelined Paul from the Senate as he recovers at his home.

The ongoing mystery is what led to the assault. Boucher’s attorney has called it “a very regrettable dispute” that was “trivial.”

Paul and Boucher have been neighbors for 17 years in a gated community.

A Paul friend says the senator was tackled from behind and slammed to the ground Friday.

Boucher is next due in court Nov. 30 for a pre-trial hearing.