Alleged poisoner of Toomer's Corner oak trees in Auburn, Alabama fan Harvey Updyke, turns down plea bargain

jerickson@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 21, 2012 

Harvey Updyke, the alleged poisoner of the two famous oak trees at Toomer’s Corner, turned down a plea bargain from prosecutors that would have required him to spend 13 years in prison and never attend an Alabama sporting event again, according to an ESPN report.

Updyke, who reportedly declined the plea offer earlier this month, is scheduled to begin trial in March, but it is likely to be pushed back after his attorney, Everett Wess asked for a delay earlier this week to talk to experts on tree poisoning.

Wess also asked judge Jacob A. Walker III for a change of venue and asked Walker to recuse himself from the case.

A Lee County grand jury indicted Updyke in May on two felony counts for first-degree criminal mischief, two felony counts of unlawful damage, vandalism or theft of property from farm animal or crop facility and two misdemeanor counts of desecrating a venerated object.

Updyke could receive as many as 10 years in prison for each felony count and up to a one-year sentence and $2,000 fine on each misdemeanor.

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