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: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:58 am

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

RaiderDuck, you're still an idiot. It's not even like 13 years was the upper bounds of the sentence, it's being offered as a PLEA deal. Get real. Yes you might be able to call this malicious destruction of property, a felony, but once again at the worst it should be 6 months in jail or probation.
Go back and read my post, Einstein. I specifically said the proposed sentence was excessive. Updyke is being primarily punished to send a message about the evils of wanton destruction. Now you may agree or disagree with the sentence itself, but that is what's going on here.

Again, I don't particularly care what happens to Updyke. When someone is does something this deliberately stupid, it's tough to have any emotional investment.

Since: Nov 8, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:42 am

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

The tree is on life support...if it were already dead the prosecutor would go for the death penalty!
Auburn, get some perspective, already. 

Since: Oct 25, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:39 am

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

Surely the State of Alabama must have a few ex-Auburn football players serving time. Ten days with one of those guys as a cellmate seems like a fair sentence.

Since: Nov 21, 2011
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:35 am

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

you kiddin me 13 years for the so called incident .. no way he is guilty he was with rapistburger in reno when it happen.. thats a great alibi and even OJ is supporting him!

Since: Mar 24, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:33 am

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

At least 13 years(and possibly as many as 42 years) of actual jail time for KILLING A TREE ? I understand the folks at Auburn consider that tree an icon, BUT IT'S STILL JUST A TREE. Lots of people convicted of killing PEOPLE in this country don't do anywhere near that much jail time! This man was wrong to poison the tree, but the punishment he's facing just doesn't fit the crime AT ALL !! And, how much will it cost the taxpayers of Alabama to keep this man locked up for all those years? The priorities of the court system in the state of Alabama seem to be terribly out of whack !!

Since: May 16, 2008
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:29 am

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

This is sick. Clearly the guy is an idiot, but 13 years for poisoning a tree ? People clear trees every day if they are unwanted and it's not illegal, but 13 years for clearing a "special" one. Also, a woman can go get a late term abortion, killing a perfectly viable baby, 1 month from being born, that kicks and smiles, and that is perfectly legal ? Our country is really screwed up.

Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:28 am

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

chc14, LOL!! You know no self-respecting southerner eats "instant" grits!! Oh, wait, he was a Yankee!! HA!!

Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:25 am

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

I am not a Bama alum or fan, or an Auburn alum/fan.  This guy should get community service, and Auburn needs to get over itself.  How to maintain this rich tradition?  Putting up a provisional wire structure until some trees of similar size can be transplanted there?  Really?  Who ever heard of transplanting trees that size?  Even if that's theoretically possible, people are spending far too much time getting pissed over this.  This was a prank gone wrong, not something that deserves prison time.  As someone else pointed out, people murder others and get sentences that are on par with what is being proposed for this tree poisoning idiot.  People from Auburn, and any lawyer that would come up with 13 years as a reasonable solution, NEED TO GET SOME PERSPECTIVE.  God forbid any of your kids ever step over the line and cause destruction to someone else's property.  When they do, and they are offered a lengthy prison sentence, I think you over-judgemental morons will see things differently.

Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:13 am

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

What this guy did was indefensible. And he's a despicable POS. 

BUT 13 YEARS!!???!!!


The Prison Industrial Complex rears its ugly head again.

More people incarcerated in the "Freedom loving" United States of America than any other nation.

Land of the Free?

Not anymore.

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2012 10:11 am

Report: Harvey Updyke rejects 13-year plea deal

13 years in prison for poisioning a tree?!! A student in California walked into his middle school with a gun, murdered a classmate execution style, and only got a 20 year sentence. 

What this man did was not right, but I wouldn't support anything more than a 2 to 3 year sentence. 

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