Appeals court orders resentencing for Rand Paul attacker

/ AP

A federal appeals court on Monday vacated what it called a "well-below-guidelines" prison sentence for the man who tackled U.S. Sen. Rand Paul outside his Kentucky home, ordering a resentencing for the attack that broke the lawmaker's ribs. The three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said it found "no compelling justification" for Rene Boucher's 30-day sentence.

The ruling came in response to an appeal by federal prosecutors who had argued that 21 months would have been more appropriate. The appeals court took no position on an appropriate sentence, saying the federal district court judge retains "ample discretion."

The Republican senator was tackled by Boucher in late 2017 when Paul's then-neighbor became angry over lawn maintenance at the senator's home.

Trending News

The attack broke several of Paul's ribs, damaged a lung and led to bouts of pneumonia. Part of his damaged lung was removed in a recent surgery. Earlier this year, Paul had hernia surgery in another procedure connected to the assault.

Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and served his 30-day sentence at a federal prison in Illinois.

"We believe that the trial judge got it right the first time," Boucher's attorney, Matt Baker, said by phone 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 considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Paul's office did not immediately comment on Monday's ruling. Prosecutors involved in the appeal did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

Paul sued Boucher, and a jury in Bowling Green, Kentucky, awarded the lawmaker and former presidential candidate more than $580,000 in damages and medical expenses. Boucher has since sold his home next door to the senator.

In sentencing Boucher, U.S. District Judge Marianne Battani said she surmised the attack to be a "dispute between neighbors" and an "isolated incident," not motivated by politics. On Monday, the appeals court panel said the sentencing judge "gave little weight to the need to promote general deterrence."

"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 B. Stranch wrote in the appeals court opinion.

The sentencing judge also noted Boucher's background, including his education, medical practice, community reputation, church involvement, status as a military veteran and lack of criminal history. Stranch said those factors are "almost all disfavored as grounds for a below-guidelines sentence."

"To prioritize a defendant's education, professional success and standing in the community would give an additional leg up to defendants who are already in a privileged position," Stranch wrote. "Indigent defendants are less likely to impress a sentencing court with their education, employment record or local reputation. But they are no less deserving of a reasonable and compassionate sentence."

Paul testified during his civil trial that he feared for his life as he struggled to breathe after Boucher, an anesthesiologist, slammed into him in their upscale Bowling Green neighborhood.

Paul testified that he got off his riding mower to pick up a stick and was straightening up when Boucher hit him from behind. Paul said he was wearing noise-canceling headphones and didn't hear Boucher coming toward him.

During his testimony, Boucher acknowledged he wasn't thinking rationally and called it "two minutes of my life I wish I could take back."

First published on September 10, 2019 / 8:11 AM

© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Austrian doctor sues FDA for seizing U.S. patients' abortion drugs

Calls agency's move "unconscionable" and "unconstitutional"; FDA says she's breaking federal law by providing the drugs

3H ago ap-04121007520.jpg British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson suspends UK Parliament over latest Brexit defeat

Opposition parties in the U.K. say they won't support an election until Britain has secured a delay to departing the European Union on October 31

10H ago British Prime Minister Boris Johnson North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un supervises a "strike drill" for multiple launchers and tactical guided weapon into the East Sea during a military drill in North Korea

North Korea fires projectiles after offering to resume U.S. talks

The projectiles reportedly flew across North Korea before landing in the waters off its east coast

12H ago North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un supervises a "strike drill" for multiple launchers and tactical guided weapon into the East Sea during a military drill in North Korea nod-dhs-bugged-1.png

Former DHS chiefs on the future of election interference

"CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell spoke with former Homeland Security Secretaries Jeh Johnson, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano

13H ago nod-dhs-bugged-1.png AFGHANISTAN-ATTACK

Afghanistan braces for violence after U.S. peace talks fail

The Taliban has stepped up a vicious campaign on violence that took place during negotiations

13H ago AFGHANISTAN-ATTACK Congress Syria

Appeals court orders resentencing for Rand Paul attacker

The three-judge panel said it found "no compelling justification" for Rene Boucher's 30-day sentence

10M ago Congress Syria heather-gumina-ecso.jpg

Mom found dead 2 months after she vanished; husband arrested

Discovery of El Dorado County woman Heather Gumina prompted a homicide investigation by the county sheriff's office, which led to the arrest of her husband

20M ago heather-gumina-ecso.jpg Chinese Woman With Malware Nearly Breaches Security At Trump's Mar-A-Lago Resort

Accused Mar-a-Lago trespasser's trial takes another strange turn

A Chinese businesswoman is defending herself on charges that she trespassed at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club

21M ago Chinese Woman With Malware Nearly Breaches Security At Trump's Mar-A-Lago Resort raul-grijalva-gettyimages-458861146.jpg

Skeptical House Democrats hold hearing on Trump public land plans

The House Natural Resources Committee will question plans to move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to Colorado

31M ago raul-grijalva-gettyimages-458861146.jpg 2017-06-21t031426z-1183675837-rc1a48617b10-rtrmadp-3-usa-politics-georgia.jpg

Jon Ossoff to challenge David Perdue for Senate seat in Georgia

"I'm running because we face a crisis of political corruption in this country," Ossoff said, calling Perdue a "caricature of Washington corruption"

37M ago 2017-06-21t031426z-1183675837-rc1a48617b10-rtrmadp-3-usa-politics-georgia.jpg Congress Syria

Appeals court orders resentencing for Rand Paul attacker

The three-judge panel said it found "no compelling justification" for Rene Boucher's 30-day sentence

10M ago Congress Syria Chinese Woman With Malware Nearly Breaches Security At Trump's Mar-A-Lago Resort

Accused Mar-a-Lago trespasser's trial takes another strange turn

A Chinese businesswoman is defending herself on charges that she trespassed at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago club

21M ago Chinese Woman With Malware Nearly Breaches Security At Trump's Mar-A-Lago Resort raul-grijalva-gettyimages-458861146.jpg

Skeptical House Democrats hold hearing on Trump public land plans

The House Natural Resources Committee will question plans to move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters to Colorado

31M ago raul-grijalva-gettyimages-458861146.jpg 2017-06-21t031426z-1183675837-rc1a48617b10-rtrmadp-3-usa-politics-georgia.jpg

Jon Ossoff to challenge David Perdue for Senate seat in Georgia

"I'm running because we face a crisis of political corruption in this country," Ossoff said, calling Perdue a "caricature of Washington corruption"

37M ago 2017-06-21t031426z-1183675837-rc1a48617b10-rtrmadp-3-usa-politics-georgia.jpg Trump

NOAA chief to address forecasters amid Dorian controversy

Neil Jacobs' comments come after a top NOAA official said the agency likely violated scientific integrity rules

46M ago Trump alex-trebek-interview-promo.jpg

Alex Trebek starts new "Jeopardy!" season

This summer, Trebek celebrated his 79th birthday and that he completed chemotherapy

13H ago alex-trebek-interview-promo.jpg 0909-en-alextrebek-odonnell-1930228-640x360.jpg

Alex Trebek returns to "Jeopardy!"

It's a new season for "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek. He began season 36 of the legendary show after announcing in March he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell has more.

12H ago 01:02 0909-en-alextrebek-odonnell-1930228-640x360.jpg Pilot

"Bob Hearts Abishola": Love, laughter and the American Dream

New CBS romantic comedy also explores the immigrant experience in America today

15H ago Pilot FRANCE-US-FILM-FESTIVAL-DEAUVILLE

Pierce Brosnan wants to see a woman play James Bond

"I think we've watched the guys do it for the last 40 years, get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there," he said

19H ago FRANCE-US-FILM-FESTIVAL-DEAUVILLE daisy-may-demetre-new-york-fashion-week-promo.jpg

9-year-old double-amputee a star at New York Fashion Week

Born with a rare condition that required both of her legs to be amputated, Daisy-May Demetre made history on the Lulu et Gigi catwalk

20H ago daisy-may-demetre-new-york-fashion-week-promo.jpg istock88471337large.jpg

Startup can mine people's data from LinkedIn profiles

Company called HiQ Labs wins court OK to scrape profiles on LinkedIn for data about people's lives and connections

14H ago istock88471337large.jpg The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London

48 states launch antitrust investigation into Google

From search to ads to data mining, "an ecosystem where people's whole internet experience is mediated through Google"

15H ago The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London FRANCE-POLITICS-TECHNOLOGY-FACEBOOK

Zuckerberg declines again to testify to international panel

It's the third time the Facebook CEO has refused an invitation to appear before a gathering of global lawmakers investigating disinformation

18H ago FRANCE-POLITICS-TECHNOLOGY-FACEBOOK Cordless white headphones in the air on a blue background.

Lost AirPods cost consumers more than half a billion dollars annually

Now hear this: Apple's AirPod sales could exceed $10 billion this year, with 5% to 7% of sales to replace lost ear buds

Sep 6 Cordless white headphones in the air on a blue background. Sheryl Sandberg Attends Facebook Community Boost Event in Miami

Facebook leaked 400 million users' phone numbers, report says

Swipe left? TechCrunch says more than 400 million unique IDs and phone numbers of Facebook users exposed on a server

Sep 5 Sheryl Sandberg Attends Facebook Community Boost Event in Miami Trump

NOAA scientist rips "political" backing of Trump's Dorian claims

Craig McLean, NOAA's acting chief scientist, wrote an email to colleagues that called the agency's response "political"

11H ago Trump Hurricane Dorian's damage at Equinor's South Riding Point oil storage facility is seen from an aerial view over Grand Bahama, Bahamas, September 7, 2019.

Company pledges to clean up oil from facility damaged by Dorian

Norwegian-based Equinor says it was unclear how big the spill was at its oil terminal on Grand Bahama

Sep 8 Hurricane Dorian's damage at Equinor's South Riding Point oil storage facility is seen from an aerial view over Grand Bahama, Bahamas, September 7, 2019. beaver-judith-lehmberg-teeth-4500-promo-top.jpg

Nature up close: Beavers, the master engineers

A keystone species for animals and plants, beavers are crafty builders who continually reshape parts of Wyoming's Snake River

Sep 7 beaver-judith-lehmberg-teeth-4500-promo-top.jpg screen-shot-2019-09-06-at-10-31-10-am.png

New species of dinosaur discovered in Japan

The discovery is the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in the country

Sep 6 screen-shot-2019-09-06-at-10-31-10-am.png 090619-landing2.jpg

Indian spacecraft apparently crashes in moon landing attempt

India seeks to join the U.S., Russia and China as the only countries to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon

Sep 6 090619-landing2.jpg Measles vaccine

California governor signs bill limiting vaccine exemptions

The governor's amendments to the bill — delaying state reviews of certain medical exemptions and grandfathering in existing exemptions — were contained in a separate measure, which was also signed into law

10H ago Measles vaccine Mid section of pregnant woman standing in corridor

Study finds increased high blood pressure cases during pregnancy

High blood pressure raises the risk of complications such as stroke and kidney failure

13H ago Mid section of pregnant woman standing in corridor Senior woman retirement

Richer Americans live longer than those lower down the ladder

Poverty a "life-threatening issue for millions of people," Sen. Bernie Sanders says of government's longevity findings

15H ago Senior woman retirement piper-johnson-interview.jpg

Parents say vaping nearly took their daughter's life

The college freshman, who'd been vaping for more than two years, vows she will never vape again after ending up in the ICU

18H ago piper-johnson-interview.jpg Vaping an e-cigarette

FDA shoots down Juul claims that vaping is safer than smoking

Federal watchdog says vaping company hasn't proven that its products are less harmful than cigarettes

12H ago Vaping an e-cigarette The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London

48 states launch antitrust investigation into Google

From search to ads to data mining, "an ecosystem where people's whole Internet experience is mediated through Google"

15H ago The Google logo is pictured at the entrance to the Google offices in London Vaping an e-cigarette

FDA shoots down Juul claims that vaping is safer than smoking

Federal watchdog says vaping company hasn't proven that its products are less harmful than cigarettes

12H ago Vaping an e-cigarette Dollars out of a ATM machine. 3d illustration

Couple arrested after spending mistaken $120,000 deposit

Pair allegedly spent most of the money on items such as an SUV, four-wheelers, a camper and bills

11H ago Dollars out of a ATM machine. 3d illustration A view of the entrance to the West Plant of the General Motors Lordstown Complex assembly plant in Warren

Manufacturing is in a recession. What's it mean for the U.S.?

Manufacturers are hurting for a number of reasons — including the president's trade war — and that's raising broader worries

Sep 6 A view of the entrance to the West Plant of the General Motors Lordstown Complex assembly plant in Warren istock88471337large.jpg

Startup can mine people's data from LinkedIn profiles

Company called HiQ Labs wins court OK to scrape profiles on LinkedIn for data about people's lives and connections

14H ago istock88471337large.jpg heather-gumina-ecso.jpg

Mom found dead 2 months after she vanished; husband arrested

Discovery of El Dorado County woman Heather Gumina prompted a homicide investigation by the county sheriff's office, which led to the arrest of her husband

20M ago heather-gumina-ecso.jpg ap6608010465.jpg

America's deadliest mass shootings

These are the deadliest mass shootings in American history

Aug 5 40 photos ap6608010465.jpg naval-academy-noose-august-and-september-2019.jpg

Naval Academy probing apparent noose found in school building

Discovery was made on 56th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic "I Have a Dream" speech

2H ago naval-academy-noose-august-and-september-2019.jpg Dollars out of a ATM machine. 3d illustration

Couple arrested after spending mistaken $120,000 deposit

Pair allegedly spent most of the money on items such as an SUV, four-wheelers, a camper and bills

11H ago Dollars out of a ATM machine. 3d illustration 0909-cbsn-congressreturns-xxb-1929856-640x360.jpg

Congress to consider gun laws & spending

Congress returns from its August recess to take up the gun debate and a fight over government spending. CBS News chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes joins CBSN with more on these major legislative challenges.

16H ago 07:05 0909-cbsn-congressreturns-xxb-1929856-640x360.jpg cbsn-fusion-india-loses-communication-with-lunar-lander-thumbnail-1928725-640x360.jpg

Space

India fails to land on the moon

India hoped to become the fourth nation to soft-land on the moon with their Chandrayaan-2 space mission. But their space agency, ISRO, lost communication with their lander just before the mission was complete. CBS News Space Consultant Bill Harwood joined CBSN to discuss the apparent failure.

Sep 7 05:43 cbsn-fusion-india-loses-communication-with-lunar-lander-thumbnail-1928725-640x360.jpg 090619-landing2.jpg

Indian spacecraft apparently crashes in moon landing attempt

India seeks to join the U.S., Russia and China as the only countries to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon

Sep 6 090619-landing2.jpg cbsn-fusion-president-trump-announces-the-u-s-space-command-is-open-as-part-of-an-approach-to-better-defend-american.jpg

Trump launches U.S. Space Command

President Trump held a Rose Garden event to commemorate the establishment of the U.S. Space Command Thursday, as the president pushes for the creation of his sixth branch of the military, the Space Force. CBS News' Bofta Yimam reports.

Aug 29 01:53 cbsn-fusion-president-trump-announces-the-u-s-space-command-is-open-as-part-of-an-approach-to-better-defend-american.jpg Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019.

Kennedy Space Center bracing for Hurricane Dorian

NASA is hauling a massive launch gantry off the launch pad to avoid the threat of hurricane winds

Aug 29 Hurricane Dorian leaves the Caribbean Sea and tracks toward the Florida coast in this NOAA satellite image taken at 10:20 a.m. ET August 29, 2019. cbsn-fusion-trump-space-command-ceremony-2019-08-29-thumbnail-1923152-640x360.jpg

Trump establishes U.S. Space Command

President Trump marked the establishment of the U.S. Space Command in the Rose Garden, and unveiled its flag for the first time during a ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Aug 29 03:49 cbsn-fusion-trump-space-command-ceremony-2019-08-29-thumbnail-1923152-640x360.jpg Damage at the Abaco Beach Resort during the eye of  Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour

Photos: Hurricane Dorian's devastation

"Everything's gone! Everything!" one woman said after Dorian slammed into the Bahamas

Sep 6 42 photos Damage at the Abaco Beach Resort during the eye of  Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbour raiders.jpg

The most valuable NFL teams in 2019, ranked

Thanks to some pricey TV deals, a relocation, and brand-new stadiums, the NFL has never been more valuable.

Sep 5 40 photos raiders.jpg Washington Redskins v New England Patriots

Highest-paid NFL players in 2019, ranked

These are the NFL superstars who earn the most cash this season

Aug 29 50 photos Washington Redskins v New England Patriots ashleyfallisparents.jpg

Ashley Fallis death: A family's fight for justice

Was the Colorado mother's 2012 death a suicide, as her husband maintains, or was it murder, as her parents insist?

Aug 24 15 photos ashleyfallisparents.jpg intro-slide.jpg

World's most polluted cities

Air pollution can cause serious health problems for people who are exposed to it, even for just a few minutes

Aug 23 51 photos intro-slide.jpg master-drinking-1920x1080-1927508-640x360.jpg

Popular

Drinking culture and American kids

On America's college campuses, there are epidemics we talk about and those we don't. When sexual assaults or fraternity hazing deaths make headlines, court cases follow and new rules are enacted, but less attention is paid to an underlying issue – binge drinking culture. CBSN Originals explores how drinking to excess is not only considered normal, but cool, and how for many young people "blacking out" is less a rarity than an every weekend occurrence – with grave consequences.

Sep 5 23:34 master-drinking-1920x1080-1927508-640x360.jpg 0910-ctm-davidortiz-lenghi-1930459-640x360.jpg

David Ortiz throws out first pitch at Fenway

Red Sox legend David "Big Papi" Ortiz made a surprise appearance at Boston’s Fenway Park, three months after being shot in the Dominican Republic. The three-time World Series winner got a standing ovation before throwing out the first pitch prior to Monday night's game against the Yankees. Mola Lenghi reports.

updated 2M ago 02:08 0910-ctm-davidortiz-lenghi-1930459-640x360.jpg ctm-eyeopener8-1930453-640x360.jpg

All that matters in 90 seconds

A look back at what we've been covering on "CBS This Morning."

updated 8M ago 01:11 ctm-eyeopener8-1930453-640x360.jpg 0910-ctm-collegeadmissions-evans-1930438-640x360.jpg

USC's athletic director abruptly steps down

The University of Southern California’s Athletic Director abruptly stepped down amid the school's alleged involvement in the college admissions scandal. Lynn Swann's resignation was announced Tuesday by the president of USC. She says his department's handling of the scandal "was not part of the decision." Carter Evans reports.

updated 14M ago 02:02 0910-ctm-collegeadmissions-evans-1930438-640x360.jpg 0910-newspath-camomdead-1930428-640x360.jpg

California mom found dead; husband arrested

California authorities say they have found what they believe to be the remains of a missing mother two months after she disappeared. CBS Sacramento reported that the discovery of Heather Gumina prompted a homicide investigation by the county sheriff's office, which led to the arrest of her husband.

updated 14M ago 01:40 0910-newspath-camomdead-1930428-640x360.jpg