Updyke receives 3 years for Auburn tree poisoning

Mar 23, 2013

(AP)—The Alabama fan who poisoned the iconic Toomer's Corner oak trees at rival Auburn has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Friday show that Harvey Updyke Jr. pleaded guilty to damaging an agricultural facility. The sentence requires him to serve at least six months in jail and spend five years on supervised probation. He has been credited with 104 days already served.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob A. Walker III also fined Updyke $1,000. The probation terms include a 7 p.m. curfew and prohibit Updyke from going onto Auburn's campus or attending a college sporting event.

Auburn fans traditionally gather at Toomer's Corner to celebrate victories. The resolution ends a case that highlighted the emotions in the year-round rivalry.

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3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 23, 2013

3 years for poisoning a tree.

That's longer than some murderers and rapists get.

This case sets an insane precedent where someone could conceivably go to prison for a harmless accident, if it involves herbicides killing a plant.

I'm not saying what he did was acceptable, but it's just a tree, morons.

Be careful when you poison pest insects everyone, all the teams named "Hornets" or "Yellow Jackets" might have you arrested.
2 / 5 (4) Mar 23, 2013
you are the moron. The punishment is not for killing the tree, but the intention and motivation. It could have been a statue, or anything else related to a traditional gathering place. The intent was to cause distress to another group.
But obviously this goes way above your little mind.
3 / 5 (4) Mar 23, 2013
I have to agree with Lurker on this one. Hurting someone's feelings isn't against the law but damaging other people's property is. What he did wasn't acceptable but getting 3 years for it was way over the line. Having to pay to replace the tree(s) would have been a more suitable punishment and the cost of doing that would have gotten the point across just fine. That's not a cheap process.