Updyke indicted in AU tree poisoning case

Harvey Updyke
Harvey Updyke

OPELIKA, AL (WSFA) - The man accused of poisoning two historic oak trees on the campus of Auburn University is now indicted by a Lee County grand jury and is looking at six total criminal charges, including felonies.

Harvey Updyke, Jr. is charged with two felony counts of first degree criminal mischief, two misdemeanor counts of desecrating a venerated or revered object and two felony counts of unlawful damage of a crop facility. There are two of each count because there are two trees cited in the case.

Updyke, if convicted and sentenced to the maximum prison time, could face up to 42 years behind bars. The suspect is 62-years-old.

Updyke has admitted to police that he called the Paul Finebaum Show where he was recorded bragging about poisoning the trees with toxic Spike 80DF herbicide after the 2010 Iron Bowl. He's never actually confessed to the police about poisoning the trees, however.

Attorney Glennon Threatt, Jr, attorney for accused Toomer's Corner tree poisoner Harvey Updyke, Jr. says he is sifting through six state charges against his client and future federal charges could come in a sealed indictment.

Glennon Threatt, Jr., Updyke's attorney, says he hopes he can make a deal to keep his client out of jail. The Lee County District Attorney's office won't comment on a possible plea deal or additional charges.

Updyke will be back in court for arraignment on May 26 and the case is set for trial on June 20th.

Both trees on Toomer's Corner, considered century-old landmarks, are starting to show serious signs of poisoning.

Copyright 2011 WSFA 12 News. WTVM-TV contributed to this report. All rights reserved.