Blog Entry

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:13 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2012 7:28 pm

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Accused tree-poisoner Harvey Updyke has rejected a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for 13 years and -- maybe more importantly where Updyke is concerned -- prohibited him from ever attending another Alabama sporting event. 

ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported Friday that Updyke declined the plea deal "earlier this month." Updyke is scheduled to go to trial for poisoning Auburn's beloved Toomer's Corner oak trees in the Lee County (Ala.) Circuit Court March 5, but current Updyke attorney Everett Wess has requested a delay in the trial, a change of venue, and a recusal from the presiding judge.

Wess is asking that the trial be moved out of Auburn and that judge Jacob Walker III step down over his participation in an Auburn season ticket pool.

Updyke was indicted last May on two felony counts of criminal mischief, two misdemeanor counts of desecrating a venerable object and two more felony counts of an Alabama law that prohibits vandalizing or stealing any property on or from an animal or crop facility. Updyke could face as much as 42 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Though Updyke has maintained his innocence, he has also admitted to being "Al from Dadeville," the Paul Finebaum radio show caller who boasted he had poisoned the oaks in late December 2010. Updyke has since called into the show multiple times to apologize for his actions, leading to a break with his fourth attorney, Glennon Threatt. 

The oaks are not expected to survive, forcing Auburn to search for options to keep the traditional rolling of Toomer's Corner intact. The most likely approach, as recommended this week by the Committee to Determine the Future of Rolling Toomer’s Corner, will be for the oaks to be replaced by similar-sized trees once the chosen saplings have grown large enough, and for a temporary object or objects -- like some kind of wire structure -- to be used as a temporary solution until the trees are ready.

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Since: Sep 15, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2012 2:09 pm

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

I think we can all agree that what this guy did was wrong...but 13 years in a plea?  Possibility of 42 years with him going to trial?  I think this case glorifies a lot that is wrong with our system...
People that are involved in drug pushing, robbery, assaults for example may get a jail sentence much shorter than this and then be released earlier yet, or get probation for something more severe.  We all know that the jails and prisons are overcrowded, there is not enough money to house them when they are there so criminals are released early.  How could anyone justify sending someone to prison for 13+ years for being simply idiot. 
I guess I don't understand the point of clogging up an overworked, underfunded court system over something like this.

Since: May 23, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:52 pm

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

there are murderers and rapists doing less time than 13 yrs.
this is just alabama stupid. 

Since: Aug 7, 2011
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:49 pm

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

Wow all of you are so thoughtful. I really dont care if he stays in jail or a mental hospital for life. You guys are such sweethearts, go play with your cats.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:41 pm

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

Okay, class of '94 here, WDE, all that, all the way... BUT.. 13 years?  I agree that he should get a couple months in jail at most and a LOT of community service, a lengthy probation period, and if he's good on probation, then he can again attend Bama sporting events... 13 years?  Please, we put rapists and murderers in for less time.

Since: May 21, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:35 pm

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

To be clear, I realize this is not an environmental issue at all. However, regarding some of the posts responding to the "I'm not a tree-hugger" post, the lack of concern displayed for life, for the only planet we have, and for future generations living on it is a pretty pathetic commentar

y on humanity.

Jump to conclusion much?
I read the posts since " I'm not a tree hugger", and unless I'm missing something, I haven't seen a "lack of concern" for life or the planet. There is a huge difference between saying "the sentence is excessive" and having no environmental concern. I certainly didn't read where someone was condoning his actions. Even if someone were to condone his actions, I highly doubt that it would be because they hate trees or the environment. It would be because they hate Auburn.

Since: Apr 12, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:33 pm

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

13 years for killing trees but Daunte Stallworth got 30 days for killing a human? Sounds about right.

Since: Dec 9, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:13 pm

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

The system is a sham..a proper punishment is for him to plant new trees and nurture them.  This a community service punishment not a prison term!!  He should have to take care of them 5 hours per week for 10 years.  Then hand off the the service to Auburn.  Oh, and he must purchase the new trees as well.

Since: Dec 9, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:09 pm

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

You're an idiot...and I'm a liberal!!!

Since: Jun 15, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:02 pm

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal


Since: Dec 4, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2012 12:59 pm

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

Unbelievable.  Murderers get plea deals for less.  Pedophiles often get probation.  13 years is so far over the top it's beyond absurd.  Was the DA an Auburn alum ?  Probabtion plus community service in the community of Auburn, Alabama.  Anything more is insanity.

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